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The First Edition of this book having been rapidly 
exhausted, I have been encouraged by its favourable 
reception to spare no labour which might make this 
Second Edition more complete and trustworthy. 

Various errors have been detected, and while new 
matter to the extent of more than sixty pages has been 
introduced, a slight typographical re-arrangement has 
prevented any increase in the absolute bulk of the 
volume. In endeavouring to secure increased accuracy 
and completeness, I have derived much valuable aid 
from the suggestions of many hitherto unknown corre- 
spondents, as well as from the able and careful reviews 
which have appeared in the literary journals. 

My especial thanks, however, are due to the writers of 
two very able articles which appeared respectively in the 
Quarterly Review and the Times newspaper. I have also 
to thank a Saturday Reviewer for pointing out some 
oversights, though I regret that while professing an 
almost fanatical theoretic love for accuracy of detail, he 
should, in his article, have exhibited so many conspicuous 
illustrations of the practical difficulty of attaining it. 
For instance, he quotes a passage where I say, " On Brent 
Knoll, near Athelney, in Somersetshire, is a camp which 

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vi Preface to the Second Edition. 

tradition ascribes to Alfred, and near the foot of the hill 
stands the village of BATTLEBURY." The Reviewer re- 
marks that this " statement contains more mistakes than 
there are lines. Brent Knoll is not near Athelney. 
Battlebury is not a village, but a mound ; nor is it near 
either Brent Knoll or Athelney." I certainly do not 
possess the advantage which the reviewer apparently 
enjoys of residing in Somersetshire, but «till I must 
maintain that I am altogether right, and that he is 
altogether wrong. Gough, one of our safest topo- 
graphical authorities, asserts that Battlebury is '* a village," 
and that it is near the foot of Brent Knoll. The Ord- 
nance Survey, which spells the name in the alternative 
form, Battleborough, places it exactly at the foot of 
Brent Knoll — half-a-mile from the summit of the hill. 
Moreover, it makes Battleborough not a mound, but a 
hamlet of ten houses. Brent Knoll is about half-a-day s 
march from Athelney, which may fairly be called ^ near," 
when my object was to suggest that the camp on Brent 
Knoll might without improbability be regarded as having 
been an outpost of Alfred's head-quarters at Athelney. 

I should be glad, were it worth the space, to examine 
other supposed corrections of this reviewer, but to do 
so would be wearisome and profitless. A few of his 
suggestions I have thankfully accepted ; with regard to 
the rest, I must demur to his assumed infallibility both 
in matters of opinion and of fact. 


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Nearly two years have passed since this volume was 
first announced as ready for the press. At that time it 
did not seem premature to make such an announcement, 
inasmuch as ten years had been devoted, more or less, 
to the collection of materials, and the several chapters 
of the work had been written, and in great part re- 

The delay that has occurred in the publication will 
easily be understood and accounted for by those who 
have been engaged on fields of research where new and 
untrodden paths are continually inviting exploration, 
and where many commonly-received opinions require to 
be examined anew, and perhaps to be corrected in 
accordance with later or more exact investigation. Some 
limit, however, must be assigned to such inquiries, which 
might otherwise be pursued endlessly. In truth, the 
volume has already far exceeded the size that was at 
first intended for it, and therefore, such as it has become, 
it is now put into the reader's hand. 

The design of the work, and an outline of its contents, 
are sufficiently set forth in the Introductory Chapter, and 
need not therefore be spoken of in this place. 


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viii Preface to t/ie First Edition, 

It may appear strange that a subject so fertile in sug- 
gestive materials should not already have received due 
attention from any competent English student. Since 
the publication, two centuries ago, of Verstegan's Resti- 
tution of Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities y no work has 
appeared in England bearing any great resemblance to 
the present one. There are, it is true, a few alphabetical 
lists of geographical etymologies: — such are Baxter's 
crude collection of ingenious conjectures and wild ety- 
mological dreams, and Skinner's Etymologicon Onomas^ 
ticony a far more safe and sober guide. Of more recent 
date are Mr. Chamock's Local Etymology, a book ex- 
hibiting some research, but no critical faculty whatever, 
and a few small school-books, of greater or less value, by 
Messrs. Sullivan, Gibson, Morris, Hughes, Boardman, and 
Adams. These, however, being all arranged on the al- 
phabetical plan, are as unreadable, as they are, for the 
most part, untrustworthy. 

On the Continent, in Germany especially, subjects 
allied to that of this volume have been copiously and 
eruditely treated by such men as Jacob Grimm, Pott, 
Zeuss, Forstemann, Wilhelm Von Humboldt, Diefenbach, 
Knobel, Renan, and Pictet It will be obvious that the 
author has derived great aid in the accomplishment of his 
task from the labours of these distinguished scholars, 
whose acknowledged learning, accuracy, ingenuity, and 
caution need no commendation from him. Leo, Gliick, 
Buttmann, and De Belloguet, though lesser stars abroad, 
would in England be luminaries of the first magnitude. 
There are also numerous monographs of great value 


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Preface to tJie First Edition, ix 

hidden in the transactions of foreign academies : — ^such 
are the essays of Vilmar, Piderit, Massmann, Petersen, 
and Meyer, with which the English monographs of Fer- 
guson, Hartshome, and Monkhouse are worthy to rank. 
The somewhat dangerous works of Dr. Donaldson and 
Dr. Latham have been used with caution, and have con- 
tributed useful materials and suggestions. 

The author cannot allow himself to suppose that, in 
writing upon a subject which ranges over so wide and 
various a field, he has always been successful in his en- 
deavour to avoid errors. He can only make this statement 
— ^that he has laboriously aimed at accuracy, both in 
advancing general statements, and in making references 
to the authorities which he cites. It is, perhaps, un- 
necessary to state that the common but objectionable 
practice of quoting at second hand has in no case been 
adopted without the reader's attention being expressly 
drawn to the fact. For the convenience of those who 
may feel inclined to pursue any of the lines of research 
which are indicated in the notes, a Bibliographical List 
has been compiled, enumerating the exact titles and 
editions of the books consulted. 

In conclusion, the author has the agreeable task of 
acknowledging his obligations to those who have given 
him the benefit of their special acquaintance with certain 
departments of his subject. The chapters relating to 
the Semitic languages have been kindly revised by the 
Venerable Archdeacon Tattam, D.D. LLD.; by the 
Rev. H. G. Williams, B.D. Professor of Arabic at Cam- 
bridge ; and by E. Stanley Poole, Esq. The chapter on 


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X Preface to the First Edition, 

Celtic names has been annotated by the Rev. John 
Davies, M.A. while Professor Donkin, of Queen's Collie, 
Liverpool, has given the benefit of his acquaintance with 
the Sanskrit and the Romance languages. G. P. Marsh, 
Esq. the United States Minister at Turin, has contri- 
buted most useful bibliographic information, and has 
also communicated observations of his own upon the 
ethnology of Northern Italy ; and the Rev. S. A. Brooke, 
Chaplain to the British Embassy at Berlin, has given 
constant literary aid, and has made numerous valuable 
suggestions during the progress of the work. Lastly, the 
Author's thanks are due to the authorities at the Topo- 
graphic Department of the Royal Engineers, and at the 
library of the Royal Geographical Society, who have 
afforded every facility for the consultation of their ex- 
tensive collections of ancient and modern maps. 


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Local Names always significant, and possessed of great vitality — 
Some dcj^riptive — Geological value of such names — Othen con- 
serve ethnological and historical facts, or illustrate the state of 
civilization or religion in past times i 



Colonization of America — Greenland — Leif Ericson — Columbus — 
Religioas feeling in the Names given by the Spaniards and by 
the Puritans— Salem — Providence — The Quaker Colony — ^Native 
Indian Names—The Elizabethan worthies: Frobisher, Davis, 
Baffin, Hudson, Drake, and Gilbert — Adventures of Captain 
Smith — ^The French plantations — The Dutch in North and South 
America — Magalhaens — Spanish and Portuguese discoveries — ^The 
Dutch in the South Seas— New Zealand and New Holland — 
Recent Arctic discoveries 9 



Local names are the beacon-lights of primeval History — The method 
of research illustrated by American Names — Recent progress of 
Ethnology — ^The Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Northmen — Retro- 
cession of the Sclaves —Arabic Names — Ethnology of mountain 
districts— The Alps 36 



Ethnic Names are of obscure origin— Name of Britain — Many nations 
bear duplicate names — Deutsche and Germans — " Barbarians" — 
Welsh — Gaels— Aryans — ^Names of conquering Tribes — Ancient 
Ethnic Names conserved in those of modem cities — Ethnic Names 


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xii ' Contents. 


from rulers— From geographical position— Europe — Asia — Africa 
— Ethnographic Names — "Warriors" — "Mountaineers" — " Low- 
landers"— ** Foresters"— "Coastlanders" — ^Greeks 53 



Physical character of Phoenician sites — ^Tyre — Sidon — Phenice — 
Phomician colonies in Crete, Cypras, Sardinia, Corsica, Italy, 
Sicily, Malta, Africa, Spain, and Britain 89 



The Empire of the Cailiphs — Arabic Names in Southern Italy and 
Sicily — Tribes by which the -conquest of Sicily was effected — Con- 
quest of Spain — ^Tarifa and Gibraltar — ^The Arabic article — River- 
names of Spain — Arabs in Southern France — ^They hold the passes 
of the Alps —The Monte Moro pass and its Arabic Names — ^The 
Muretto pass and Pontresina . 99 



England is the land of indosures— This denoted by the character of 
Anglo-Saxon Names which end in "ton,** **yard," "worth," 
"fold," "hay," and "bury"— Ham, the home— The Patronymic 
" ing" — ^Teutonic clans — Saxon colony near Boulogne — ^The Saxon 
settlement in England began before the departure of the Romans — 
Early Frisian settlement in Yorkshire — Litus Saxonicum near Caen 
— German village-names in France and in Italy — Patronymics in 
Westphalia, Franconia, and Swabia — Seat of the "Old-Saxons" . 117 



Incursions of the Northmen — Norse test- words: "by," "thorpe," 
"toft," "ville," "garth," "ford," " wick"— Vestiges of the 
Danes near the Thames — Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Lincoln- 
shire — ^The Danelagh — Norwegians in Sutherland, the Orkneys, 
Shetlands, Hebrides, and Isle of Man — Cumberland and West- 
moreland — ^The Wirall— Colony in Pembrokeshire— Devonshire 


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Contents. xiii 


and the South Coast — Northmen in Ireland — Intensity of the 
Scandinavian element in different parts of England — ^Northmen m 
France — Names in Normandy — Norse Names in Spain, Sicily, and 
the Hellespont— Local vestiges of the Anglo-Norman conquest— 
Anglo-Nonnan nobles in Scotland I5S 



Prevalence of Celtic Names in Europe — Antiquity of River-names — 
The roots Avon, Dur, Stour, Esk, Rhe, and Don^Myth of the 
Danaides — Hybrid composition, and reduplication of synonyms — 
Adjectival river-names : the Yare, Alne, Ban, Douglas, Leven, 
Tame, Aire, Cam, and Clyde — ^Celtic mountain names : cefn, pen, 
cenn, dun — Names of Rocks — Valleys — Lakes — Dwellings — 
Cjrmric and Gadhdic test-words — Celts in Galatia— Celts in Ger- 
many, France, and Spain — Euskarian Names— Gradual retro- 
cession of Celts in England — Amount of the Celtic element — 
Division of Scotland between the Picts and Gaels — Inverand Aber 
—Ethnology of the Isle of Man 193 



Contrast between Roman and Saxon civilization, as shown by Local 
Names— Roman roads — "Gates" — Bridges and fords— Celtic 
bridges — Deficiency of inns — Cold Harbour — ^Saxon dykes — 
Roman vralls — Saxon forts — "Bury" — Ancient camps — Chester, 
caster, and caer — Stations of the Roman Legions — Frontier dis- 
tricts — Castile — The Mark— Pfyn, Devises — Ethnic shire-names of 
England — ^Intrusive colonization 249 



The walls of Old London— Gradual extension of the town — Absorp- 
tion of surrounding villages— The brooks: the Holbom, the 
Tyburn, and the Westbourne — ^Wells, conduits, ferries — Monastic 
establishments of London — Localities of certain trades — Sports 
and pastimes — Sites of residences of historic families preserved in 
the names of streets — ^The Palaces of the Strand— Elizabethan 
London — Streets dating from the Restoration * 272 


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XIV Contents, 




Places of Popular assembly — Runnimede — Moot-hill — Detmold — 
The Scandinavian " things " or parliaments — ^The Thingvellir of 
Iceland — ^Tbe Thingwalls and Dingwells of Great Britain — 
Tynwald Hill in the Isle of Man— Battle-fields : Lichfield, Battle, 
Slaughter— Conflicts with the Danes — Eponymic Names — Myths 
of Early English History — Carisbrooke — Hengist and Horsa— Cissa 
— MWt — Cerdic — Oflfa — Maes Garmon — British Chieftains — 
Valetta — Alexander— Names of the Roman Emperors— Modem 
Names of this dass 290 



Local Vestiges of Saxon Heathendom — Tiw, Frea, Woden, Thor, 
Balder— Celtic Deities— Teutonic Demigods— Wayland Smith — 
Old Scratch— Old Nick— The Nightmare— Sacred groves and 
temples — Vestiges of Sclavonic Heathendon — The Classic Pan- 
theon — Conversion of the Northern Nations — Paulinus at Good- 
manham— " Llan " and '*Kir'— The Hennits of the Hebrides 
—The Local Saints of Wales — Places of Pilgrimage —The Monastic 
Houses 320 



The nature of geological changes — The valley of the Thames once 
a lagoon filled with islets — Thanet once an island — Reclamation 
of Romney Marsh — Newhaven — Somersetshire — The Traeth Mawr 
— ^The Carse of Gowrie — Loch Maree — ^The Fens of Cambridge- 
shire — ^The Isle of Axholme — Silting-up of the Lake of Geneva — 
Increase of the Delta of the Po — Volcanoes — Destruction of 
ancient Forests — Icelandic Forests — The Weald of Kent — 
Increase of Population — Populousness of Saxon England — ^The 
nature of Saxon husbandry — English vineyards— Extinct animals : 
the wolt badger, auroch, and beaver — Ancient Salt Works — 
Lighthouses— Changes in the relative commercial importance of 
towns 347 


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Contents. xv 




Vitality of Local Names — Recurrence to Ancient Names— Changes 
in Names often simply phonetic — Lincoln — Sarum — Whitehall — 
Phonetic corruptions among savage tribes — Interchange of suffixes 
of analogous sound — ^Tendency to contraction — Laws of Phonetic 
change — ^ExampIes— Influence of popular etymological speculation 
on the forms of Names — ^Tendency to make Names significant — 
Examples — Transformation of French Names — Invention of new 
Saints from Local Names — Transformed names often give rise 
to legends — Bozra — Thongcastle — ^The Dun Cow — Antwerp — ^The 
Mouse Tower— The Amazons of the Baltic— Pilatus — The Picts — 
The Tatars — Poland— Mussulman — Negropont— Corruptions of 
Street-Names — America— The Gypsies 375 



Growth of words out of names — Process of transformation— Ex- 
amples: cherry, peach, chestnut, walnut, quince, damson, 
Guernsey lily, currant, shallot, coffee, cocoa, and rhubarb — 
Tobacco— Names of , wines and liqueurs— Gin, negus, and grog 
—Names of animals : turkey, ermine, sable — Breeds of horses — 
Fish — ^Names of Minerals: loadstone, magnet, agate, jet, nitre, 
ammonia— Textile fabrics — Manufactures of the Arabs: muslin, 
damask, gauze, fustian — Manufactures of the Flemings : cambric, 
diaper, duck, ticking, frieze — Republics of Northern Italy — Cravats 
— Worsted — Names of vehicles — The coach — Names of weapons — 
Inventions called from the name of the inventor — Pasquinade, 
punch, haxlequin, charlatan, vaudeville — Mythical derivations — 
Names of coins — Moral significance attached to words derived 
from Ethnic Names— Examples : Gothic, bigot, cretin, frank, 
romance, gasconade, lumber, ogre, fiend, slave — Names of servile 
Races — Tariff— Cannibal — Assassin — Spruce— Words derived from 
the practice of pilgrimage : saunter, roam, canter, fiacre, tawdry, 
flash — History of the word palace 402 


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xvi Contents. 




Dangers which beset the Etymologist —Rules of Investigation — 
Names in the United States— List of some of the chief components 
of Local Names 453 


List of Names of ancient Tribes preserved in the Names of Modem 
Cities and Provinces . . ' 4S9 


Comparison of Saxon Patronymics in Artois and in England . . . 491 
Comparison of Patronymics in England, France, and Germany . . 496 


Index of Local Names 514 

Index of Matters 538 


Chromolithographic Map of the settlements of the Celts, Saxons, 
Danes, and Norwegians in the British Isles and Northern France. i 

Sketch-Map showing the distribution of Arabic names in Spain and 
Portugal 105 

Sketch-Map of the Saxon colony in Picardy and Artois .... 132 

Sketch-Map showing the Teutonic settlements in France .... 145 

Sketch-Map showing the settlements of the Northmen in Normandy 185 

♦»* In these Maps each dot represents the position of an ethnographic 
local name. 


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xviii Bibliographical List of Books consulted. 

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Bibliog raphkal L ist of Books consulted, xi x 

King of Dakome, 2yols. 8vo. 
Lond. 1864. 

Butler, Rev. Alban:— r^^ Lives of 
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Buttmann, Al. : — Die Deutschen 
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Muller, C. O. -.-^ History and Anti- 
quities of the Doric Race. Trans- 
lated by H. Tufnell and G. C. 
Lewis. Second Edition. 2 vols. 
8vo. 1839. 

Miiller, Max, M. A. : — Lectures on 
the Science of Language. Second 
Edition. 8vo. Lond. 1862. 
Second Series, 1864. 

Miiller, Max: — On Comparative 
Mythohsf. In Oxford E^ys for 
1856. 8vo. Lond. 

Miiller, Wilhelm .—GeschichU und 
System der cUtdeutschen Rel^ion. 
8vo. Gottingen, 1844. 

Murphy, J. C. -.--The History of 
the Mahometan Empire in Spain, 
4to. Lond. 1 8 16. 

Murray, John: — A Handbook for 
Travellers in Switzerland and 
the Alps of Savoy and Piedmont. 
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Murray, John : — Handbook of Devon 
and Cornwall. 8vo. Lond. 1859. 


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xxvi Bibliographical L ist of Books consulted. 

Newmah, Francis W. : — Regal 
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Nicholls, Rev. H. G., M.A. .—The 
Forest of Dean^ an Historical and 
Descriptive Account, Sq. 8vo. 
Lond. 1858. 

Niebuhr, B. G. : — Lectures on An- 
cient Ethnography and Geography. 
Translated by Dr. L. Schmitz. 
2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1853. 

Niebuhr, B. G. : — Lectures on the 
History of Rome. Edited by Dr. 
L. Schmitz. 3 vols. 8vo. Lond. 
1844— 1849. 

Niebuhr, B. G. i—The History of 
Rome. Translated by T. C Hare, 
and Connop Thirl wall. Fourth 
Edition. 3 vols. 8va Lond. 
1847— 1851. 

Olshausen, J. : — Ueber phonicische 
Ortsnameti ausserhalb des semi- 
tischen Sprachgehiets. In vol. viii. 
of the Rheinisches Museum fur 
Philologie. 8vo. Frankfurt am 
Maine, 1853. 

Ormerod, George : — History of the 
County Palatine and City of 
Chester. 3 vols. fol. Lond. 1819. 

Palgrave, Sir Francis: — History of 
Normandy and EnglancL 4 vols. 
8vo. Lond. 185 1, 1857, 1864. 

Palgrave, Sir Francis: — History of 
the Rise and Progress of the 
English CommomvaUth during the 
Anglo-Saxon Period. 2 vols. 4to. 
Lond. 1832. 

Panzer, Friederich: — Beitrag %ur 
Deutschen Mythologies 8vo. 
MUnchen, 1848. 

Papon : — Histoire Ghtirale de Pro- 
vence. 4vols. 4to. Paris, 1777 — 

Pauli, Dr. Reinold : — Pictures of 
Old England. Translated by 
E. C. Otte. 8vo. Lond* i86i. 

Pennant, Thomas: — A Tour in 
Wales. 2 vols. 4to. Lond. 
1778— 1784. 

Pennant, Thomas: — Some Account 
of London. Third Edition. 4to. 
London, 1 793. 

Pertz, G. H. : — Monumenta Ger- 

mania Historica, ab anno Christi 
500 usque ad annum 1 500. 12 
vols. fol. Hannov. 1826— 1848. 

Petersen, N. M., and Le Prevost : 
— Recherches sur Vorigine^ Vity- 
mologigy et le signification primi- 
tive de qudques noms de lieux en 
Normandie. Traduitesau danois 
par M. de La Roquetie. In the 
Bulletin de la Soci^te de Geo- 
graphic, Jan. 1835. 8vo. Paris, 

Philological Museum. 2 vols, 8vo. 
Cambridge, 1832, 1833. 

Philological Society^ Proceedings of 
the. 6 vols. 8vo. Load. 1842 — 

Philological Society^ Transactions of 
the. 8vo. Lond. 1854— 186 1. 

Philology^ Comparative : — In the 
Edinburgh Review, vol. xci. Oct 

Philosophical Transactions of the 
Royal Society of London. 4to. 

Pictet, Adolphe '.-^Les Origines 
Indo-Europiennesj ou les Aryas 
Primitifs. 2 vols. 8vo. Paris, 
1859, 1863. 

Piderit, Dr. F. C. H. :—L>ie Oris- 
namen in der Provinz Nieder* 
hessen. In the Zeitschrift des Ve- 
reins fur hessische Geschichtc und 
Landeskimde, vol. i. pp. 283 — 
316. Kassel, 1837. 

Piers Ploughman, The Vision and 
the Creed of. 2 vols. i2mo. 
Lond. 1832. 

Pihan, A. P. : — Glossaire des Mots 
Entftfais tirSs de PArabe^ du 
Persan, et du Turc^ 6^c, 8vo. 
Paris, 1847. 

Planta, Joseph: — Ah Account of 
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Porter, Major Whitworth, R.E. :— 
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Poste, Rev. Beale : — Britannic Re- 
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Bibliographical L ist of Books consulted. xxvii 

Pott, Dr. A. F. '.—Etymologische 
Forukungm auf dem Geinete dtr 
Indo ' Germaniscken Sprackenl 
2vols. 8vo. Lemgo, 1833. 

Pott, Dr. August Friedrich : — 
Die Personen-nametiy insbesotidere 
die Familien-namen undihreEnt- 
sUkungsarUn, auch unter Beriick- 
sicktigutifT der Orisnamen, 8vo. 

Pott, Dr. A. F. >-Dte Zigeuner in 
Europa und Asien, 2 vols. 8vo. 
Halle, 1844, 1845. 

Pott, Dr. A. Y.'.—Mytko-Etymo- 
logie. In Kuhn's Zeitschrift 
Vol. ix. 

Pott, Dr. A. F. i—Etymologiscke 
Spakne. In Kuhn's Zeitschrift. 
Vol. V. 

Pott, Dr. A. F. \—Indo-Germani' 
scker Sprcicksiamm. InErschund 
GrubePs AUgemeine Encyklo- 
|Kidie. Second Section. Vol. 
xriiL pp. I — 112. 

Poulson, George: — TTie History 
and Antiquities of tke Seignory 
of Holdemess, 2 vols. 4to. HoL^ 
i8i40, 1841. 

Preller, C. \^Grieckiscke Mytko- 
logie. 2 vols. 8vo. Leipsig, 1854. 

Prescott, W. H. \— History of Ferdi- 
nand and Isabella, 3 vols. i2mo. 
Lond. 1850. 

Prescott, W. H. -.—History of tke 
Conquest of Peru. Fourth Edition. 
3 vols. i2mo. Lond. 185a 

Prichard, Dr. James C. : — Researckes 
into tke Pkysical History of Man- 
kind, Third Edition. 4 vols. 
8vo. 1S41 — 1847. 

Prichard, Dr. James C. \—Tke 
Eastern Origin of tke Celtic 
Nations. Edited by Dr. Latham. 
8vo. Lond. 1857. 

Prichaixl, Dr. J. C, i—On tke 
Various Methods of Researck 
wkick Contribute to tke Advance^ 
ment of Etknology, In the Re- 
ports of the Seventeenth Meeting 
of Uie British Association, for 

Pryce, William, M.D. : — Arckao* 

logia Cornu-Britanniea : or an 
Essay to Preserve tke Ancietit 
Comisk Language, 4to. Sher- 
boume, 1790. 

Purchas: — His Pilgrimes. 5 vok. 
Folio. Lond. 1625. 

Quarterly JoumcU of Education. 
10 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1831 — 

Quarterly Journal of tke Geological 

Society. 8vo. Lond. 
Radlof; Dr. I. G. .—Neue Unter- 

suckungen des Keltentkumes, 8vo. 

Bonn, 1822. 
Rawlinson, Rev. Geotge, M.A., 

Sir Henry Raivlinson, K.C.B., 

and Sir J. G. WUkinson, F.R.S. : 

— Tke History of Herodotus, A 

New Engiisk Version^ witk copious 

Notes and Appendices^ &c. 4 vols. 

8vo. Lond. 1858. 
Redding, Cyrus : — History and 

Description of Modern IVines, 

Third Edition. 8vo. Lond. 185 1. 
Rees, Rev. W. J. \-^Lives of tke 

Cambro-Britisk Saints, 4to. 

Llandovery, 1853. 
Rees, Prof. Rev. Rice, M.A. :— 

An Essay on tke Welsk Saints ^ or 

tke Primitive Ckristians usually 

considered to kavc been tke founders 

of Ckurckesin Wales, 8vo. Lond. 

Reinaud, L'Abbe Joseph-Toussaint : 

— Invasions des Sarazins en 

France^ et de France en Savoie ; 

en Pihnont et dans la Suisse^ 
pendant les 8«, 9® ^/ loe Siicles 

denotreire, 8vo. Paris, 1836. 
Renan, Ernest : — De V Origine du 

Langage. Second Edition. 8vo. 

Paris, 1858. 
Renan, Ernest : — Histoire GSnhale 

et Systime Compart des Langues 

Shnitiques. Pt. i. Third Edition. 

8vo. Paris, 1863. 
Revue Arckhlogique, 8vo. Paris.* 
Robertson, E. William : — Scotlatul 

under ker Early Kings ; a History 
of tke Kingdom to the Close of tke 

Tkirteentk Century, 2 vols. 8vo. 

Edinburgh^ l862« 


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xxviii Bibliographical L ist of Books cofisulted. 

Robinson, Edward, D.D. : — Biblical 
Researches in Palestine^ Mount 
Sinaiy and Arabia Petraa, 3 
vols. 8vo. Lond. 1841. 

Robinson, Edward, D.D., LL.D. : 
— Later Biblical Researches in 
Palestine and the adjcuent Regiotu, 
8vo. Lend. 1856. 

Russell, W. H. : — My Diary, 
North and South, 2 vols. 8vo. 
Lond. 1863. 

Saint Fargeau, A. Girault de:-T- 
Dictionnaire des Unites les Com- 
munes de la France, 3 vols. 4to. 
Paris, 1844 — 1846. 

St John, James Augustus : — History 
of the Pour Cottquests of Eng- 
land, 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 

Salverte, Eus^be : — Essai Historique 
et Philosophiquc sur les Noms 
cTHommes, de Peuples, et des 
Lieux, 2 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1824. 

Sankey, William S. i-^The Porte- 
feuille of Science and Art, 8vo. 
Edinburgh, 1838. 

Saxon Chronicle. .SVv Ingram. 

Sayer, Captain :—The History of 
Gibraltar. 8vo. Lond. 1802. 

Schafismk, Paul Joseph -.—Slawische 
Alterthiimer, Deutschvon M. von 
Aehrenfeld. 2 vols. 8va Leip- 
sig, 1843, 1844. 

Schleicher, A. : — Die Sprachm 
EuropcLs, 8vo. Bonn, 1850. 

Schleicher, A. : — Zur Vergleich' 
etidett Sprachengeschichte, Bonn, 

Schmeller, J. A. -.--Ueber die soge- 
nannten Cimbem der VII. und 
XIII. Communen auf den Vene- 
dischen Alpen, und ikre Sprache. 
In the Abhandlungen der Philo- 
sophisch - Philolog - Classe der 
Koniglich Bayerisch Akademie 
der Wissenschaften, vol. ii. pt 
• 3, pp. 559 — 708. 4to, Mtinchen, 


Schott, Albert :— Z)*> Deutschen 
Colonien in Pihnont. 8vo. Stutt- 
gart und Tubingen, 1842. 

Schott, Albert x-^Die Deutschen am 

Monte Rosa, mit ihren Stammge^ 
nosser in IVallis und Uechtland, 
4to. Zurich, 1840. 

Sheppard, Dr. John G. \— The Fall 
of Rome, and the Rise of the New 
Nationalities. 8vo. Lond. 1 861. 

Singer, S. ^ . '.--Wayland Smith, 
a Dissertation on a Tradition of 
the Middle Ages ; from the French 
of G. B, Dipping and Francisque 
Michel, with additions. i2mo. 
Lond. 1847. 

Skene, William, F. '.-^The High- 
landers of Scotland : tJuir Origin, 
History, and Antiquities. 2 vols. 
i2mo. 1837. 

Smiles, Samuel :— Lives of the En- 
gineers, 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1861. 

Smith, George, LL.D. : — The 
Cassiterides : an Inquiry into the 
Commercial Operations of the 
Phoenicians in Western Europe, 
8vo. Lond. 1863. 

Smith, Goldwin : — Irish History 
and Irish Character, 8vo. Oxfoixl 
and Lond. 1861. 

Smith, J. T.: — Antiquarian Rambles 
through the Streets of London. 2 
vols. 8vo. Lond. 1846. 

Smith, Captaine John : — The Gene- 
roll Historic of Virginia, New 
England, and the Summer Isles, 
4to. Lond. 1627. 

Smith, Captaine John i^The True 
Traods, Adventures, and Obser- 
vations of, in Europe, Asia, Africke, 
and America, 4ta Lond. 1630. 

Smith, Dr. W. -.—Dictionary of 
Greek and Roman Geography, 
2 vok 8vo. Lond. 1856, 1857. 

Sousa, Fr. Joa5 de : — Vestigios da 
Lingua Arabica em Portugal. 
8vo. Lisboa, 1789. 

Souvestre, Emile: — Les Demiers 
Britons, 2 vols. i2mo. Paris, 

Sparschuh, Dr. N. : — BerichH- 
gungen und Beitrage zu Grimm^s 
Geschickte der Deutschen Sprache. 
8vo. MainU, 1850. 

Stalder, Franz Joseph : — DieLandes- 
sprachen der Schweiz, oder 


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Bibliographical List of Books consulted. xxix 

Sckwazerische DiaUktologU* i2mo. 
Aarau, 1819. 

Stanley, Rev. A. P. (Dean of 
Westminster) : — Historical MemO' 
rials of Canterbury. Second 
Edition. 8to. Lond. 1855. 

Stanley, Rev. A. P. \~-The Study 
of Modem History in London, 
A Lecture, 8to. Lond. 1854. 

Stanley, Dr. Arthur Penrhyn : — 
Sinai and Palestine : in Connexion 
with their History. Twelfth 
Thousand. 8vo. Lond. 1862. 

Stanley, Dr. A. P. : — Lectures on 
the History of the Jewish Church. 
8vo. Lond. 1863. 

Steub, Ludwig : — Ueber die Urbe- 
wohner Rdtiens^ und ihrerZusam* 
menhang nut den Etruskem, 8vo. 
Miinchen, 1843. 

Steub, Ludwig :—-?i/r Rhdtischen 
Ethnologie. 8vo. Stuttgart, 1854. 

Stow, John : — Survey of the Cities 
of London and Westminster. 2 
vols. Folio. Lond. 1720. 

Strinnholm, A. M. : — VikingsUge 
der aJten Skandinavier. Aus dem 
Sckwedischeny von Dr. C. F. 
Frisch. 8vo. Hambuig, 1839. 

Sullivan, Robert, LL.D. :— ^ Dic- 
tionary of Derivations ; or^ an 
Introduction to Etymology on a 
new plan. Seventh Edition. i2mo. 
Dublin, 1855. 

Symington, Andrew James : — Pen 
and Pencil Sketches of Faroe and 
Iceland. 8vo. Lond. 1862. 

Talbot, H. Fox '.—English Ely- 
mologies. 8vo. Lond. 1847. 

Tallack, William : — Malta under 
the PheniciatiSy Knights, and 
English. 8vo. Lond. 1861. 

Taylor, Joseph: — Antiquitates Curi- 
osa : the Etymology of many Re^ 
markable Old Sayings^ Proverbs, 
and Singular Customs Explained. 
i2mo. Lond. 18 18. 

Thierry, Amedee : — Histoire des 
Caulois. Second Edition. 3 vols. 
8vo. Paris, 1835. 

Thierry, Augustin : — Historical 
Works of containing the Conquest 

of England by the Normans, and 

Narrative of the Merovingian Era. 

8vo. Lond. 1851. 
Thirlwall, Connop, Bishop of St. 

David's -.—The History of Greece. 

8vo. Lond. 1845. 
Thombury, G. W. \^The Monarchs 

of the Main; or. Adventures of the 

Buccaneers. 3 vols. 8vo. Lond. 

Thorpe, Benjamin: — Northern My- 
thology ; comprising the principal 
Popular traditions and supersti- 
tions of Scandinavia, North Ger- 
many, and the Netherlands, 3 
vols. 8vo. Lond. 185 1. 

Thrupp, John : — The Anglo-Saxon 
Home, a History of the Domestic 
Institutions and Customs of Eng- 
land from the Fifth to the Eleventh 
Century. 8vo. Lond. 1862. 

Timbs, John : — Curiosities of London. 
i2mo. Lond. 1855. 

Tooke, John Home : — EIIEA 
ITTEPOENTA : or, the Diversions 
of Purley. Second Edition. 
(First Edition of part ii.) 4to. 
Lond. 1798— 1805. 

Train, Joseph : — An Historical and 
Statistical Account of the Isle of 
Man, 2 vols. 8vo. Douglas, 


Trench, Richard Chenevix, D.D. 
(Archbishop of Dublin) : — On the 
Study of Words. Fifth Edition. 
i2mo. Lond. 1853. 

Trench, Dr. R. C. -.—English Past 
and Present. Five Lectures. 
Fourth Edition. i2mo. Lond. 

Trench, Dr. R. C. :—A Select Glos- 
sary of English Words used for- 
merly in senses differetit from their 
present. Second Edition. Lond. 
i2mo. 1859. 

TroUope, Adolphus :—A Lenten 
Journey in Umbria and the 
Marches. 8vo. Lond. 1862. 

Tschudi : — Haupt-SchlUssel zu ver- 
schiedenen Alterthumen. Fol. 
Constantz, 1758. 

Turner, Sharon : — The History of 


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XXX Bibliographical L ist of Books consulted. 

ike Anglo-Saxons. Fifth Edition. 
3 vols. 8vo. Lond. 1828. 

Ungrisches Magazin, 4 vols. 8vo. 
Pressburg, 1781 — 1787. 

Verstegan, Richard : — Restitution of 
Decayed Intelligence in Antiquities^ 
l2mo. Lond. 1673. 

Vilmar, Dr. : — Die Ortsnamen in 
Kurhessen. In the Zeitschrift des 
Vereins fUr hessische Geschichte 
und I^andeskunde. Vol. i. pp. 237 
— 282. 8vo. Kassd, 1837. 

Warnkonig, Leopold August : — 
Flandrische Staats- und Rechts- 
geschichte ^ biszum Jahr^ 1305- 3 
vols. 8vo. Tubingen, 1835 — 1842. 

Waiter, Rev. John Wood:— 754if 
Seaboard and the Down ; or^ My 
Parish in the South. 2 vols. 8vo. 
Lond. i860. 

Weber, Albrecht: — IndischeSkizzen, 
8vo. Berlin, 1857. 

Wedgwood, Hensleigh : — A Dic- 
tionary of English Etymology, 
Vols. i. and ii. 8vo. Lond. 
1859, &c. 

Welsford, Henry : — On the Origin 
and RamificcUions of the English 
Language, 8vo. Lond. 1845. 

Wenrich, Joannes Georgius : — 
Rerum ab Arabibus in ItcUia 
instdisque adjcuentibus^ Sicilia 
maxime^ Sardinia atque Corsica 
gestarum CommentariL 8vo. 
Lipsi«e, 1845. 

Weston, Stephen, B.D. '.-^Remains 
of Arabic in the Spanish and 
Portuguese Languages, i2mo. 
Lond. 1818. 

Wheeler, T. Talboys:— T^y*^ Geo- 
graphy of Herodotus, 8vo. Lond. 

Whitaker, John:— 7*^ History of 
Manchester, 2 vols. 4to. L^nd. 


WhiUker, Thomas Dunham : — An 
History of the Original Parish of 
Whalley, and Honor of Clittieroe, 
Third Edition. Folio. Lond. 181 8. 

Wilkinson, Sir T- O. \— Manners 
and Customs of the Ancient Egyp- 
tians^ 6 vols. 8vo. Lond. First 

Series, 1837; Second Series, 

Williams, Archdeacon John : — 
Essays on Various Subjects, • '8vo. 
Lond. 1858. 

Williams, Roger : — A Key into the 
Languages of America, i6mo. 
Lond. 1643. 

Wilson, Daniel: — The Archceology 
and Pre-historic Annals of Scot- 
land. Royal 8vo. Edin. 1 851. 

Wilson, Daniel, F.S. A. : — Pre- 
historic Man ; Researches into the 
Origin of Civilization in the Old 
and the Hew IVorU. 2 vols, 8vo. 
Cambridge, 1862. 

Wilton, Rev. Edward, M.A. : — 
TheHegeb.or ''South Country ''^ 
of Scripture. i2mo. Lond. 1863. 

Witte, J. H. F. Carl i—Alpinisches 
und Transalpinisches. Nenen Vor- 
trdge. i6mo. Berlin, 1858. 

Worsaae, J. J. A. \—An Account 
of the Danes attd Norwegians in 
England^ Scotland^ and Ireland. 
8vo. Lond. 1852. 

Wright, Thomas, M.A. : — Essays 
on Archceological Subjects, 2 vols. 
8vo. Lond. 1861. 

Wright, Thomas, M.A. .—Wander- 
ings of an Antiquary t chiefly upon 
the Traces of the Romans in 
Britain. i2mo. Lond. 1854. 

Wright, Thomas, M.A. \-^The Celt, 
the Ronuin, attd the Saxon, 8vo. 
Lond. 1861. 

Wright, Thomaa, M.A. i—On Way- 
land Smith. In the Journal of the 
Archaeological Association, vol. 
xvi. pp. 50—58. 

[Yonge, C. U.]-.— History of Chris- 
tian Names, 2 vols. 8vo. Lond. 

Zeitschrift fur Vergleichende Sprach- 
forschung auf dem Gebiete des 
Deutschen, Griechischen und La- 
teinischen. Herausgegeben von 
Dr. T. Aufrecht und Dr. A. 
Kuhn. 10 vols. 8vo, Berlin, 
1852, &c. 

Zeitschrift der Morgenlandische 


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Bibliographical List of Books consulted. xxxi 

Ztitschrifi fiir Detttsche Mythologies 2 vols, (paged continuously) 8vo. 

uiui SUtenkuruU, 4 vols. 8vo. Leipsig, 1853. 

Gottinffcn, 1853 — 1859. Zeuss, Kaspar: — Die Herkunft der 

Zeit:chr0fiir Deutsches Alterthum. Baiern von den Markomannen 

See Haupt. gfgt*^ die bisherigen MuthmassuU' 

Zeitschrifi fUr die Wissenschaft der genbewiesen. 8vo. MUnclien, 1839. 

Spracke. 8vo. Greifswald, 1845, Zeuss, Kaspar: — Die Deutschen 

&C. See Hofer. und die Nachbarstdmnu, 8vo. 

Zenss, J. C : — Grammatica Celtica, Miinchcn, 1837. 

Classical writers, such as Pliny, Tacitus, Josephus, Juvenal, Jerome, 
Beda, Gregory the Great, &c. are cited by the chapter and verse. The 
same has been done with the English classics^— such as Shakespeare, 
Chaucer, Wicliflfe, Milton, Scott, and Blackstone. 

The titles of the German Philological Journals quoted are given at full 
length in the preceding list. This has not seemed to be necessary with 
well-known English periodicals — such as the Quarterly^ Edinburgh^ North 
British^ and Saturday Reviews^ The Times, The Guardian, Notes and 

Great use has been made of Richardson's New Dictionary of the English 
Language, 2 vols. 4to. ; as well as the useful Imperial Dictiofuiry. I nave 
constancy consulted K. von Spruner's Historisch-Geographisches Hand- 
Atlas ; the Maps of the Useful Knowledge Society ; the Ordnance Survey 
of Great Britain ; and the convenient reduction published by Crutch ley. 
I have also used the large Government Surveys of France, Switzerland, 
Belgium, WUrtembeig, Bavaria, &c and other ancient and modem maps 
too numerous to mention. 


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Digitized by VjOOQIC 

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111 tiic^ 

fiHlTlSH ISLES &l«OiU JifiRK FJ 
Celid4> nanuss Mimilil 



>!.' KaUiI'. I.OtuL 




Local Names always significant, and possessed of great vitality — Some de- 
scriptive — Geological value of such names — Others conserve ethnological and 
historical facts, or illustrate the state of citnlization, or religion in past 

Local names — whether they belong to provinces, 
cities, and villages, or are the designations of rivers and 
mountains — are never mere arbitrary sounds, devoid of 
meaning. They may ?ilways be regarded as records of 
the past, inviting and rewarding a careful historical in- 

In many instances the original import of such names 
has faded away, or has become disguised in the lapse 
of ages; nevertheless, the primeval meaning may be 
recoverable, and whenever it is recovered we have gained 
a symbol that may prove itself to be full-fraught with 
instruction ; for it may indicate — emigrations — ^immigra- v 
tions — ^the commingling of races by war and conquest, "^ 



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2 Signijp^ancy of Local Names. 

or by the peaceful processes of commerce : — the name 
of a district or of a town may speak to us of events 
which written history has failed to commemorate. A 
local name may often be adduced as evidence determi* 
native of controversies that otherwise could never be 
brought to a conclusion. t \} 

The names of places are conservative of the more 
archaic forms of a living language, or they embalm for 
us the guise and fashion of speech in eras the most 
remote. These topographic words, which float down 
upon the parlance of successive generations of men, are 
subject in their course to less phonetic abrasion, than 
the other elements of a people's speech. Such words, it 
is true, are subject to special perils, arising from at- 
tempts at accommodating their forms to the require- 
ments of popular etymological speculation ; but, on the 
other hand, they are more secure than other words from 
the modifying influences of grammatical inflexion. 

The name of many an ancient city seems as if it 
were endowed with a sort of inherent and indestructible 
vitality : it is still uttered, unchanged in a single letter 
— monumentum (ere perennius — while fragments of marble 
columns, or of sculptures in porphyry or granite, are 
seen strewing the site confusedly.^ 

What has been affirmed by the botanist as to the 
floras of limited districts, may be said, with little abate- 
ment, concerning local names — ^that they survive the 
catastrophes which overthrow empires, and that they 
outlive devastations which are fatal to almost every- 
thing besides. Wars may trample down or extirpate 
whatever grows upon a soil, excepting only its wild 
flowers, and the names of those sites upon which man 
^ As in the case of Tadmor, Sidon, or Hamath. 


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Permanence of Names. 3 

has found a home Seldom is a people utterly exter- 
minated,^ for the proud conqueror leaves " of the poor of 
the land" to till the glebe anew; and these enslaved 
outcasts, though they may hand down no memory of 
the splendid deeds of the nation's heroes, yet retain a 
most tenacious recollection of the names of the hamlets 
which their own ignoble progenitors inhabited, and near 
to which their fathers were interred. 

Nineteen-twentieths of the vocabulary of any people 
lives only in the literature and the speech of the cul- 
tured classes.* But the remainder — the twentieth part — 
has a robust life in the daily usage of the sons of 
toil: and this limited portion of the national speech 
never fails to include the names of those objects which 
are the most familiar and the most beloved. A few 
score of ''household words'* have thus been retained 
as the common inheritance of the whole of the Indo- 
European nations ; ' and the same causes have secured 
the local preservation of local names. 

1 Thus in the historical books of the Old Testament, we have, inci- 
dentally, a proof of the large Caaaanite element remaining after the 
Isradiitsh conquest of Palestine. We see the old Canaanite names 
straggling for existence with those imposed by the conquerors : — Kirjath 
Arba with Hebron; Kirjath Sepher with Debir; Keneth with Nobar; 
Laz with Bethel ; Ephratah with Bethlehem. — See Stanley's Lectures on 
ike Jewish Chstrch^ p. 275. 

s Of the 50^000 words in the English language, some 10,000 constitute 
the vocabulary of an educated Englishman, and certainly not 1,000, perhaps 
not more than 500^ are heard in the mou^is of the labouring classes. — See 
Marsh, Lectures en the Engiish Language, pp. 125, 1^6; Max Mtiller^ 
Lectures on the Science rf Language, p. 268; Saturday Review, Nov. 3, 1 861. 

> The names of the numerals, of father, mother, and brother, of the parts 
of the body, of two or three of the commoner metals, tools, cereals, and 
dcmiesticated animals, such as the cat, the mouse, and the goose, as well as 
the names of the plough, of grist, of fire, of the house, as well as some of 
the personal pronouns and numerals, come within this category. The 
analysis of words of this class enables us to speculate upon the relative 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

4 Significancy of L ocal Names. 

These appellations, which have thus been floated 
forward from age to age, have often, or they had at 
first, a descriptive import ; — they tell us something of 
the physical features of the land. Thus it is that they 
may either give aid to the philologist when the aspect 
of the country remains the same — its visible forms stand- 
ing in view as a sort of material lexicon of a tongue 
that has ceased to be vernacular ; or, on the other hand, 
where the face of nature has undergone extensive 
changes — ^where there were formerly, it may be, forests 
that have been cleared, marshes that have been drained, 
coast-lines that have advanced seaward, rivers that have 
extended their deltas or found new channels, estuaries 
that have been converted into alluvial soil, lakes that 
have been silted up, islands that have become gentle 
inland slopes surrounded by waving corn- flats; — in all 
such cases, instances of which will be adduced hereafter, 
these pertinacious names have a geological significance — 
they come into use as a record of a class of events, as 
to which, for the most part, written history is silent. In 
this manner — and the instances are many — the names of 
» places become available as the beacon-lights of geologic 
history. In truth, there are instances in which local 

epochs at which the Celtic, Romance, Sclavonic, and Teutonic families 
separated from the parent stock, or from each other, and also to detect what 
progress had been made in the arts of life at the periods when each of these 
separations took place. See Grimm*8 Gtschkhte der Deutschen Spracht, 
pp. 9 — 113 ; MaxMiiller, On Comparative Mythology, in the Oxford Essays 
for 1856, pp. 14 — ^26; Leo, Vorlesungen, vol. I p. il ; Wilson, Prehistoric 
Annals of Scotland, p. 350; Weber, Indische Skizzen, pp. 9, 10; Glad- 
stone, Homer, vol. L p. 299 ; Pritchard, Reports of Brit. Assoc, for 1847, 
p. -940; Mommsen, Inhabilants of Italy, pp. ii — 14 ; Pictet, Origines 
Indo-Europ. pt i. pp. 149 — 530 ; pt. ii. pp. 739 — 75 1 ; Bunsen, Philosophy 
of Universal History, vol. L pp. 75, 76 ; Mannhardt, Gotterwell, vol. i. 
p. 47 ; Kuhn, Zur alteste Gesckichte, 


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Descriptive Import of Names, 5 

names, conserved in places where little or nothing else 
that is human has endured, may be adduced as evidence 
of vast physical mutations, side by side with the stone 
hatchets and the spear-heads of the drift of Abbeville, 
the canoes and anchors found in the alluvium of the 
Carse of Falkirk and Strathclyde, the gnawed bones of 
the Kirkdale Cavern, the glaciated rocks of Wales, the 
rain-dinted slabs of Sussex, and other massive vouchers 
in the physical history of the globe. 

The picturesque or descriptive character of local names 
is, as might be anticipated, prominently exemplified in 
the appellations bestowed on the most striking feature 
in landscape — ^mountain peaks and ranges. Thus it is 
easy to perceive that, in every region of the world, the 
loftier mountains have been designated by names which 
describe that natural phenomenon, which would be most 
certain to impress the imagination of a rude people. 
The names of Snowdon, Ben Nevis, Mont Blanc, the 
Sierra Nevada in Spain, Snafell in Iceland, the Sneeuw 
Bergen at the Cape of Good Hope, the Sneehatten in 
Norway, Sneekoppe in Bohemia, and the Weisshorn, the 
Weissmies, and the Tdte Blanche in Switzerland, as well 
as the more archaic or more obscure names of Lebanon, 
of Caucasus, of Haemus, of the Himalaya, of Dwajala- 
giri, and of Djebel-es-Sheikh, are appellations descrip- 
tive, in various languages, of the characteristic snowy 
covering of these lofty summits. 

But there are many names which conjoin historical 
and physical information. Thus, when we learn that the 
highest summit in the Isle of Man is called SNAFELL, we 
recognise at once the descriptive character of the name, 
and we might be satisfied with simply placing it in the 
foregoing list But when we discover that the name 


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6 Significatuy of Local Names, 

Snafell Is a true Norse word, and that it serves moreover 
for the name of a mountain in Norway, and of another in 
Iceland, we find ourselves in presence of the historical 
fact that the Isle of Man was, for centuries, a dependency 
of the Scandinavian Crown — Shaving been conquered and 
colonized by the Norwegian Vikings, who also peopled 

This is an instance of what we may call the ethnolo- 
gical import of names. The chief value of the science of 
geographical etymology consists in the aid which it is 
thus able to give us in the determination of obscure etb- 
nol(^ical questions. There are many nations which have 
left no written records, and whose history would be a 
blank volume — or nearly so — ^were it not that in the 
places where they have sojourned they have left traces 
of their migrations, sufficient to enable us to reconstruct 
the main outline of their history. The hills, the valleys, 
and the rivers are, in fact, the only writing-tablets on 
which unlettered nations have been able to inscribe their 
annals. It may be affirmed that, with hardly an except 
tion, the great advances in ethnological knowledge which 
have recently taken place are due to the decipherment of 
the obscure and time-worn records thus conserved in 
local names. The Celtic, the Iberic, the Teutonic, the 
Scandinavian, and the Sclavonian races have thus, and 
for the most part, thus only, made known to us their 
migrations, their conquests, and their defeats. 

To this subject — Etymology in its relations to Ethno- 
logy — ^several of the succeeding chapters will be devoted. 

But we sometimes derive historical information in a 
still more explicit form from local names. They often 
preserve the memory of historic sites, and even enable 
us to assign approximate dates to certain memorable 


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Historical Import of Names. y 

events. Thus there is a meadow, near Stamford Bridge/ 
which still goes by the name of BATTLE FLATS. For 
eight centuries, this name has kept in its tenacious grasp 
the memory of the precise locality of the famous terri- 
torial concession which Harald, son of Godwine, made to 
Harald HardrAda, King of Norway, " seven feet of En- 
glish ground, or as much more as he may be taller than 
Qther men."^ And at the other extremity of the king- 
dom the name of the town of battle, in Sussex, is the 
epitaph which marks the spot where, \n less than a month, 
the Saxon king lost his kingdom and his life. 

The names of messina in Sicily, of carthagena in 
Spain, and of MILETUS in Ionia, repeat the names of 
the mother-cities which sent out these colonies ; and the 
name of TRIPOLI reminds us that there were three cities, 
— Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus — ^which joined in establishing 
the new settlement 

The name of the Philippine Islands tells us of the 
reign in which the Spanish galleons steered from Peru 
across the Southern Sea. The name of Louisiana re- 
minds us that, in the days of the Grand Monargue, 
France was the rival of England in the colcftiization of 
the Western World ; and the names of Virginia, of the 
CAROLINAS, and of GEORGIA give us the dates of the 
first foundation of England's colonial empire, and of 
some of the chief successive stages in its progress. The 
word LONDONDERRY Speaks to us of the resettlement of 
the desolated city of Derry by the London guilds ; while 
PHILIPSTOWN, and MARYBOROUGH, commemorate the 

^ Stamford Bridge was long known as Battle Bridge — Pons Belli, — 
Lappenbefg, An^-Saxon Kings^ voL ii. p. iSi. 

' Saga of Haiald HardridA, in Laing's ff^imskrinf^^ ToL ui p. 89. 


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S Significancy of Local Nantes. 

fact that it was in the days of King Philip and Queen 
Mary that the O'Mores were exterminated, and twd new- 
counties added to the English Pale. 

There are materials of yet another class which may be 
collected from the study of ancient names. From them 
we may decipher facts that have a bearing on the history 
of ancient civilization. With regard, for example, to 
Saxon England, we may from local names draw many 
inferences as to the amount of cultivated land, the state 
of agriculture, the progress of the arts of construction, 
and even as to the density of the population, and its 
relative distribution. In the same records we may dis- 
cover vestiges of various local franchises and privileges, 
and may investigate certain social differences which must 
have characterised the districts settled respectively by 
the Saxons and the. Danes. And we may collect en- 
chorial vestiges of the heathenism of our forefathers, and 
illustrate the process by which it was gradually effaced 
by the efforts of Christian teachers. 

We thus perceive how many branches of scientific, 
historical, and archaeological research are capable of being 
elucidated •by the study of names ; and it is manifest 
that, upon many grounds, the work of their Historical 
Interpretation is called for. The almost virgin soil of a 
rich field, which has never yet been systematically culti- 
vated, presents itself before the labourer ; and an indus- 
trious criticism, bringing into combination the resources 
of Geography, of Physical Description, of Geology, of 
Archaeology, of Ethnology, of Philology, and of History, 
may hope to reach results, more or less important, in 
each of these departments of knowledge ; or, at all events, 
it cannot fail to indicate, for future exploration, some pf 
the sites where lie buried the hidden treasures of the past 


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Colonization of America. 



ColonhuUum of America — Greenland^Leif Ericson — Columbus— Religious 
fedifig in the Names given by the Spaniards and by the Puritans — Salem 
—Providence— The Quaker Colony— Native Indian Names— The Eliza- 
bethan worthies : Frobisher^ Davis, Baffin, Hudson, Drake, and Gilbert- 
Adventures of Captain Smith— The French plantations— The Dutch in 
North and South America — Magalhaens — Spanish and Portuguese dis- 
coveries — TTte Dutch in the South Seas-^New Zealand and New Holland 
— Recent Arctic discoveries^ 

1 HE peopling of the Eastern Hemisphere is an event of 
the distant past The names upon the map of Europe 
have remained there, most of them for ten, many of them 
for twenty, centuries* To study them is a task full of dif- 
ficulties ; for they are mostly derived from obscure or 
unknown languages, and they have suffered more or less 
from the phonetic changes of so many years. But with 
the New World the case is different. The colonization 
of America has been effected during the modern historic 
period, the process of name^iving is illustrated by 
numerous authentic documents, and the names are de- 
rived from living languages. Just as the best introduction 
to the study of geolc^y is the investigation of recent 
formations, abounding in the remains of still existing 
organisms, so we may fitly commence our present task 
by*aa examination of what we may call the tertiary de- 


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lo Nanus of Recetit Origin. 

posits of America and Australia, which are still in process 
of formation ; and we shall then be better prepared to 
explore the Wealden and other secondary formations of 
the Teutonic Period, and the still older primary Celtic 
strata — Silurian, Cambrian, and Devonian. We shall 
find that the study of the more recent names throws 
much light on those natural laws which have regulated 
the nomenclature of Europe : and the investigation is, 
moreover, full of interest, from the numerous associations 
with the names of the bold conquistadors and the daring 
seamen whose enterprise has added another continent to 
the known world. 

By means of the names upon the map, we may trace 
the whole history of the successive stages by which the 
white men have spread themselves over the Western 
World. We may discover the dates at which the several 
settlements were founded, we may assign to each of the 
nations of Europe its proper share in the work of colo- 
nization, and, lastly, we may recover the names of the 
adventurous captains who led their little bands of daring 
followers to conquer the wilderness from nature, or from 
savage tribes. 

The name of GREENLAND is the only one which is 
left to remind us of the Scandinavian settlements which 
were made in America during the tenth century. The 
discoveries of Leif, son of Eric the Red, have been for- 
gotten, and the Norse names of Vinland (Massachusetts), 
Markland (Nova Scotia), Helluland it mikla (Labrador), 
and Litla Helluland (Newfoundland), have been super-> 
seded, and now survive only in the memory of the 

Without disparagement of the claims of Leif Ericson 
to the discovery of the New World, we may r^ret HtxaiX 


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Columbm. 1 1 

the names of the city of COLOMBUS and of the district 
of COLUMBIA form the only memorials of the bold Ge- 
noese adventurer ; and we may wish that the name of the 
entire continent had been such as to remind us, day by 
day, of the exploits of Christopher Columbus rather than 
of those of Amerigo VespuccL Alexander von Hum- 
boldt^ has, indeed, vindicated Vespucci from the chaise 
of trickery or forgery which Las Casas attempted to 
fasten upon him; and we must, therefore, regard the 
aame of America as an unfortunate mistake rather than 
as an inglorious and successful fraud.^ 

The deep religious feeling of the earlier voyagers is 
well illustrated by the names which they bestowed upon 
their discoveries. The first land descried by Columbus 
was the island of SAN SALVADOR. From day to day he 
held on, in spite of the threats of his mutinous crew, who 
threatened to throw the crazy visionary into the sea. 
With what vividness does this name of San Salvador 
disclose the feelings with which, on the seventieth night 
of the dreary voyage, the brave Genoese caught sight of 
what seemed to be a light gleaming on some distant 
shore ; how vividly does that name enable us to realize 
the scene when, on the next day, with a humble and 
grateful pride, he set foot upon that new world of 
which he had dreamed from his boyhood, and, having 
erected the symbol of the Christian faith and knelt before 
it, he rose from his knees and proclaimed, in a broken 
voice, that the land should henceforth bear the name of 
San Salvador — the Holy Saviour, who had preserved him 
through so many perils 1 

^ Cosmos^ voL il note 457. 

* The error obtained cnrrency from a work on Geography, published in 
the year 1507. 


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1 2 Names of Recent Origin. 

We cannot but reverence the romantic piety which 
chequers the story of the violence and avarice of the con* 
quistadors. On the discovery of unknown shores, the 
first thought of those fierce soldiers was to claim the 
lands as new kingdoms of their Lord and Master, and to 
erect forthwith His symbol, the SANTA CRUZ, the VERA 
CRUZ, the name of which marks upon our maps so many 
of the earliest settlements of the Spaniards and Por- 

The name of SAN SEBASTIAN, the first Spanish colony 
founded on the continent of South America, forms a 
touching memorial of the perils which beset the earlier 
colonists. On disembarking from the ships, seventy of 
the Spaniards were killed by the poisoned arrows of the 
Indians ; on which account the dangerous spot was put 
under the special protection of the martyr, who, by reason 
of the circumstances of his death, might be supposed to 
feel a personal and peculiar sympathy with those who 
were exposed to the like sufferings.^ 

As in the case of many great men, there seems to 
have been a sort of mysticism underlying the piety of 
Columbus. On his third voyage he discerned three 
mountain-peaks rising from the waters, and supposed that 
three new islands had been discovered. On a nearer 
approach, it was found that the three summits formed 
one united land — a fact which the admiral recognised as 
a mysterious emblem of the Holy Trinity, and there- 
fore bestowed upon the island the name of LA TRINIDAD, 
which it still retains. 

^ So too the name of the ladrones, or *' Robbers' Islands/* comme- 
morates the losses of Magelhaen's crew from the thievish propensities of the 
natives. The name sierra leone, The Lion's range, records the terrors 
of the Portuguese discoverers at the nightly roaring of the lions in the 
mountains which fringe the coast 


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The Soldiers of the Cross, 1 3 

The Spaniards were devout observers of the festivals 
of the Church, and this circumstance often enables us to 
fix the precise day on which great discoveries were made. 
Thus FLORIDA, with its dreary swamps, is not the 
** Flowery Land," as it is sometimes thought to be ; but 
its name records the fact that it was discovered by Juan 
Ponce de Leon on Easter Sunday — a festival which the 
Spaniards call Pascua Florida, from the flowers with 
which the churches are then decked. The island of 
DOMINICA was discovered on a Sunday — dies Dominica. 
"NATAL was discovered by Vasco de Gama on Christmas- 
day — dies Natalis, Alfonso de Sousa founded the first 
Portuguese colony in the Brazils, and its name JANEIRO, 
recalls the fact that he landed on the Feast of St Janu- 
arius. The town of ST. AUGUSTINE^ the oldest in the 
United States, was founded on St. Augustine's-day by 
Melendez, who was sent by Philip IL of Spain on the 
pious mission of exterminating a feeble colony of 
Huguenot refugees, who were seeking, on the coast of 
Florida, that religious liberty which was denied them in 
their native land. 

The islands of ASCENSION and ST. HELENA, the River 
ST. LAWRENCE, and other places too numerous to men- 
tion, thus date the day of their discovery by their names. 

A religious feeling equally intense with that which 
dictated the names bestowed by the Spanish discoverers, 
but very different in character, is evinced by the names 
which mark the sites of the Earlier Puritan colonies in 
North America. 

Salem was intended to be the earthly realization of 
the New Jerusalem, where a " New Reformation," of the 
sternest Calvinistic type, was to inaugurate a fresh era in 
the history of the world, and a strict discipline was to 


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14 Names of Recent Origiiu 

eradicate every frailty of our human nature from this 
City of the Saints. From the laws of the neighbouring 
town of Newhaven,^ as given by Hutchinson, we may 
gather some notion of Life in this Puritan Utopia. 
Among other things, it was there enacted, under severe 
penalties: — 

'' That no one shall be a freeman unless he be con* 

' '' That no one shall run on the Sabbath, or walk in 
his garden. 

'^ That no one shall make beds, cut hair, or shave, and 
no woman shall kiss her children on the Sabbath. 

"That no one shall make mince-pies, or play any in- 
strument, except the trumpet, drum, and jews*-harp, 

" That no food or lodging shall be given to any Quaker 
or other heretic" 

The laws of Massachusetts assigned the penalty of 
death to all Quakers, as well as to '' stubborn and rebel- 
lious sons," and to all ^'children, above sixteen, who 
curse or smite their natural father or mother," and to 
persons guilty of idolatry, witchcraft, or blasphemy. 

These laws, breathing the spirit of Christianity as 
understood by the Puritan exiles for conscience* sake, 
quickly bore their fruit. Roger Williams, a noble-hearted 
man, who, strange to say, had been chosen to be minister 
at Salem, dared to affirm the heresy that ** the doctrine 
of persecution for cause of conscience is most evidently 
and lamentably contrary to the doctrine of Christ Jesus,** 

^ Caswall, TkeAmtrkan Church and the American Union^ p*3S> Lucas, 
SeculariUf pp. 419, 227. Since the first Edition of Words and Places was 
published I have received a letter from an American correspondent in which 
he informs me that these so-called "Blue Laws" are a forgery. My cor- 
respondent assigns no reasons, bat I sincerely hope his statement is correct. 


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Puritan Names* 1 5 

and that ^ no man should be bound to worship against 
his own consent" For maintaining these heterodox 
opinions, which struck at the root of the New England 
system of polity, Williams had sentence of exile pro- 
nounced s^inst him. He wandered forth into the snows 
of a New England winter : '* for fourteen weeks," he says, 
* he often, in the stormy night, had neither fire nor food, 
and had no house but a hollow tree/ 

The savages showed him the mercy which his fellow- 
Christians had refused him, an Indian chief gave him 
food and shelter ; but that wigwam in the far forest was 
soon pronounced to be within the jurisdiction of the 
Puritan colony, and the Apostle of Toleration, hunted 
even from the wilderness, embarked with five companions 
in a canoe, and landed in Rhode Island. With simple 
piety he called the spot where the canoe first touched 
the land, by the name of PROVIDENCE — ^a place which 
still remains the capital of Rhode Island, the State which 
Williams founded as ''a shelter for persons distressed for 
conscience." * 

The name of CONCORD, the capital of the State of 
New Hampshire, shews that some at least of the 
Puritans were actuated by feelings more in harmony 
with the spirit of the religion they professed; while 
PHILADELPHIA, the City of Brotherly Love, tells a 
touching tale of the unbrotherly persecutions which 
filled the gaols of England with 60,000 Quakers, — 
persecutions from which they fled, in the hope of in- 
augurating a Utopian era of peace and harmony. 

All readers of Pepys' amusing Diary are familiar with 
the name of his colleague at the Admiralty, Sir William 
Feim. The funds which should have found their way 

^ Bancroft^ History rfike United States^ red. i pp. 276—286. 


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1 6 Names of Recent Origin, 

into the naval chest were diverted to purposes more 
agreeable to the " merry monarch" than the purchase of 
tar and timber ; and, in consequence, the fortune which 
the Comptroller of the Navy bequeathed to his Quaker 
son, was a claim on the royal purse for the sum of 
16,000/. The money not being forthcoming, young 
:Penn — ^who, much to the annoyance of his family, had 
embraced the tenets of the Quakers — obtained, in satis- 
faction of his claims, a large grant of forest-land in 
North America, and led forth a colony of Quakers to 
found the new colony, called, after himself, PENN- 

The name of BOSTON reminds us of the part of 
England from which the first Puritan settlers emigrated. 
They had, with much difficulty, escaped from the Lin- 
colnshire coast — ^some of them having been apprehended 
on the beach for the crime of attempting to reach a 
country where they might worship according to their 
consciences. Their first refuge was in Holland, from 
whence the Mayflower carried them to the shores of 
New England, and on the nth of December, 1620, 
landed them on a desolate spot, five hundred miles from 
the nearest settlement of white men. To this spot they 
gave the name of PLYMOUTH — a reminiscence of the last 
English land which they had seen as they passed down 
the Channel* 

HOBOKEN (an Indian word, meaning the "smoke 
pipe") was the name of a spot in New Jersey, at which 
the settlers met the Indian chiefs in council, and smoked 
the pipe of peace, while they formed a league of amity 

1 The Puritan emigration lasted twenty years — ^from 1620 to 1640. During 
this period, 21,000 emigrants crossed the Atlantic. The population of the 
six New England States is now upwards of three millions* 


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Indian Names. ly 

— ^too soon, alas! to be broken by the massacre of 
BLOODY BROOK, where so many of the colonists were 
treacherously slain. Hoboken is one of the many Indian 
names which we find scattered over the map of the 
American continent, and which are frequently used to 
designate the great natural features of the country, the 
lakes, the rivers, the mountain ranges, and the chief 
natural territorial divisions.^ Such are the names of 
The name of MEXICO is derived from Mexitli, the 
Aztec war-god. TLASCALA means "the place of bread." 
HAYTI is the " mountainous country." The ANDES take 
their name from the Peruvian word anta — copper. Local 
names are the only memorial of many once powerful 
tribes which have become extinct. The names of the 
ALLEGHANY Range, the MOHAWK Valley, Lake HURON, 
Lake ERIE, Lake NIPISSING, the City of NATCHEZ, 
CHEROKEE County, the River OTTAWA, and the States 
of KANSAS, OHIO, and ILLINOIS are all derived from the 
names of tribes already extinct or rapidly becoming so. 
Centuries hence, the historian of the New World will 
point to these names as great ethnological landmarks : 
they will have, in his eyes, a value of the same kind as 
that which is now attached to the names of Hesse, 
Devonshire, The Solway, Paris, or Turin.^ 

The name of VIRGINIA carries us back to the reign of 

^ The rivers and mouDtaiiis receive their names from the earliest races, 
villages and towns from later colonists. Many illustrations of the principle 
will be adduced in Chapter IX. 

See Chapter IV. and Appendix A. 


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1 8 Names of Recent Origin, 

the Virgin Queen, and gives us the date of the exploits 
of those hardy sailors, who cast into the shade the deeds 
even of the Spanish conquistadors. Not far from the 
scene of one of his ruinous enterprises,^ the most chival- 
rous, the most adventurous, the most farsighted, and the 
most unfortunate of Englishmen, has recently had a 
tardy tribute paid to him, in the adoption, by the 
Legislature of North Carolina, of the name of kaleigh 
as the designation of the capital of the State in which 
Raleigh's colony was planted. On RALEIGH island, at 
the entrance of Roanoke Sound, may still be discerned 
the traces of the fort around which the adventurers 
built the CITY OF RALEIGH, a place which has now 
vanished from the map. Of Raleigh's other enterprises, 
more especially of his quixotic ascent of the Orinoco for 
four hundred miles in small open boats, no local name 
remains as a memorial. 

The names of other heroes of the Elizabethan era are 
to be sought elsewhere. In the Northern Seas we find 
a record of the achievements of four brave Englishmen 
— Frobisher, Davis, Baffin, and Hudson. The adven- 
turous spirit which actuated this band of naval worthies 
is shown in the declaration of Martin Frobisher, who 
deemed the discovery of the North- West Passage " the 
only thing of the world that was yet left undone by 
which a notable minde might be made famous and 
fortunate." In command of two little barks, respectively 
of 25 and 20 tons, and accompanied by a small pinnace, 
FROBISHER Steered for the unknown seas of ice, and, 
undaunted by the loss of the pinnace and the mutinous 
defection of one of his crews, he persevered in his 

^ Cape fear commemorates the narrow escape from destruction of one 
of the expeditions sent out by Raleigh. 


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Frobisher^ Davis, and Baffin. 19 

. enterprise, and discovered the strait which bears his 

John Davis, with two ships respectively of 50 and 35 
tons, followed up the discoveries which Frobisher had 
made. With a brave heart he kept up the courage of 
his sickly sailors, who were struck with terror at the 
strange sight of huge floating icebergs towering overhead, 
and at the fearful crash of the icefloes as they ground one 
against the- other, and threatened the ships with instant 
destruction. When, at length, the wished-for land came 
in sight, it was found to be so utterly barren and inhos- 
pitable that the disappointed seamen gave it the name 
which it still bears — CAPE DESOLATION. But Davis 
persevered, and was rewarded by the discovery of an 
open passage leading to the North-West, to which 
the name of DAVIS* straits has been rightfully 

Bylot and Baffin, with one small vessel, and a crew of 
fourteen men and two boys, eclipsed all that Davis had 
done, and ventured into unknown seas, where, for the 
next two hundred years, none dared to follow them. 
They discovered the magnificent expanse of water 
which is known by the name of BAFFIN'S BAY, and they 
coasted round its shores in hopes of finding some outlet 
towards the North or West. Three channels were 
discovered, to which they gave the names of Sir James 
LANCASTER, Sir Thomas SMITH, and Alderman JONES, 
by whose countenance and pecuniary assistance they 
had been enabled to equip the expedition. 

The adventurous life and tragic fate of Henry Hud- 

1 Hackluyt, Navigations^ vol. iii. pp. 29 — 96. Cf. Calendar of State 
Papersy Dom. Ser, 1577-9. 

* Hackluyt, Navigations, vol, iii. pp. 9? — 120, 

C 2 


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20 . Names of Recent Origin, 

son would make an admirable subject for an historical 
romance. The narration is quaintly given in Purcltas 
His Pilgrimes;^ but, fortunately or unfortunately, it 
has not, so far as I am aware, been selected as a theme 
by any modern writer. Hudson's first voyage was an 
attempt to discover the North-East Passage to India. 
With ten men and a boy, he had succeeded in attaining 
the coast of Spitzbergen, when the approach of winter 
compelled him to return. In a second voyage he 
reached Nova Zembla. The next year he traced the 
unknown coast-line of New England, and entered the 
great river which bears his name. His last expedition 
was rewarded by still greater discoveries than any he 
had hitherto effected. In a bark of 55 tons he attempted 
the North-West Passage, and, penetrating through 
HUDSON'S STRAIT, he reached HUDSON'S BAY, where 
his ship was frozen up among the icefloes. Patiently he 
waited for the approach of spring, although, before the 
ship was released, the crew had been reduced to feed 
on moss and frogs. After awhile, they fortunately 
succeeded in catching a supply of fish, and prepared to 
return home, with provisions for only fourteen days. 
Dismayed at this prospect of starvation, the crew 
mutinied, and, with the object of diminishing the 
number of mouths to be fed, they treacherously seized 
their brave captain ; and having placed in a small boat 
a little meal, a musket, and an iron pot, they cast 
Hudson adrift, with eight sick men, to find a grave in 
the vast inland sea, the name of which is the worthy 
epitaph of one of the most daring of England's seamen. 
The names of these four men — Frobisher, Davis, Baffin, 
and Hudson — ^the world will not willingly let die. 
^ Purchas, PUgrimes^ yol. ill pp. 567 — 609. 


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Hudson^ Drake, and Gilbert 2 1 

The naval triumphs of the Elizabethan era are also 
associated, in the minds of Englishmen, with the exploits 
of Drake and Gilbert, although they have not been 
fortunate enough to give their names to seas or cities. 
Drake's almost fabulous adventures — his passage of the 
Straits of Magalhaens— his capture of huge treasure- 
ships with his one small bark — ^his voyage of 1,400 miles 
across the Pacific, which he was the first Englishman to 
navigate — ^his discovery of the western coast of North 
America, and his successful circumnavigation of the 
globe, form the subject of a romantic chapter in the 
history of maritime adventure. 

But a still higher tribute of admiration is due to 
the brave and pious Sir Humphrey Gylberte, who, on 
his return from his expedition to NEWFOUNDLAND, 
attempted to cross the Atlantic in his "Frigat," the 
Squirrel^ a little vessel of, 10 tons. Near the Azores, 
a storm arose, in which he perished. The touching 
account of his death as given in Hackluyt, is well 
known, but it can hardly be repeated too often : " The 
Generall, sitting abaft with a booke in his hand, cried 
out to us in the Hind, so oft as we did approach within 
hearing, * We are as neere to heaven by "sea as by land,* 
— ^reiterating the same speech, well beseeming a souldier 
resolute in Jesus Christ, as I can testifie he was. The 
same Monday night, about twelve of the clocke, or not 
long after, the Frigat being ahead of us in the Golden 
Hinde, suddenly her lights were out, whereof, as in a 
moment, we lost the sight, and withall our watch cryed 
the Generall was cast away, which was too true ; for in 
that moment the Frigat was devoured and swallowed up 
of the sea," ^ 

^ Hacklnyt, Navigations, voL iii. p. 159. 


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22 Names of Recent Origin. 

Such were the gallant gentlemen and "soldiers resolute 
in Jesus Christ" who made the reign of Elizabeth illus- 

The records of the progress of English colonization 
during the next reign are to be sought on the banks of 
the JAMES River. On either side, at the entrance of 
this river, are Cape henry and Cape CHARLES. Cape 
Charles was called after "Baby Charles," and Cape 
Henry bears the name of the hopeful prince whose 
accession to the throne might probably have changed 
the whole course of English history. ELIZABETH 
County, which formed M'Clellan's base of operations 
in the late campaign, and in which stands Fortress 
Monroe, was so called in honour of the sister of these 
princes — the hapless Winter Queen, the mother of 
Prince Rupert. SMITH'S ISLES, near Cape Charles, and 
SMITHFIEL1>, on the opposite side of the James River, 
^re memorials of Captain John Smith, a man of rare 
genius and enterprise, to whom, even more than to 
Raleigh, the ultimate establishment of the English 
colony in Virginia is due. 

Even in those days of wild adventure. Smith's career 
had been such as distinguished him above all his fellow- 
colonists in Virginia. When almost a boy he had fought, 
under Leicester, in that Dutch campaign, the incredible 
mismanagement of which has been so ably detailed by 
Mr. Motley. His mind, as he tells us, " being set upon 
brave adventures," he had roamed over France, Italy, 
and Egypt, doing a little piracy, as it would now be 
called, in the Levant. Coming to Hungary, he took 
service for the war with the Turks, against whom he 
devised many "excellent stratagems," and performed 
prodigies of . valour in various single combats with 


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Captain John Smith. 21 

Turkish champions, slaying the " Lord Turbashaw," also 
" one Grualgo, the vowed friend of Turbashaw," as well 
as '* Bonny Mulgro," who tried to avenge the death of 
the other two. 

After numerous adventures, for which the reader must 
be referred to his amusing autobiography, a general en- 
gagement took place, and Captain Smith was left for 
dead upon the field of battle. Here he was made 
prisoner, and sold into slavery at Constantinople. Being 
regarded with too much favour by his "fair mistresse," 
who "tooke much compassion on him," he was sent into 
the Crimea, where he was " no more regarded than a 
beast." Driven to madness by this usage, he killed his 
taskmaster, the Tymor, whose clothes he put on, and 
whose horse he appropriated, and thus succeeded in es- 
caping across the steppes ; and, after overcoming many 
perils, he at last reached a Christian land. " Being thus 
satisfied with Europe and Asia," and hearing of the 
" warres in Barbarie," he forthwith proceeded to the in- 
terior of Morocco, in search of new adventures. We 
next hear of him " trying some conclusions at sea " with 
the Spaniards; and at last, at thirty years of age, he 
found himself in Virginia, at a time when a great portion 
of the hundred colonists had perished, and the survivors 
were meditating the abandonment of what seemed a 
hopeless enterprise. Before long. Smith's force of cha- 
racter placed him at the Hfead of affairs, which soon began 
to improve under the influence of his resolute and hope- 
ful genius. But the position of responsibility in which 
he was placed could not put a stop to the execution of 
his adventurous projects. In an open boat he made a 
coasting voyage of some three thousand miles, in the 
course of which he discovered and explored the Potomac. 


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24 Names of Recent Origin, 

On the occasion of one of these expeditions, his com- 
panions were all cut off by the Indians, and he himself, 
** beset with 200 salvages," was taken prisoner and con- 
demned to die. Brought before the King of Pamaunkee, 
" the salvages " had fastened him to a tree, and were 
about to make him a target for the exhibition of their 
skill .^n archery, when he obtained his release by the 
adroitMisplay of the great medicine of a pocket-compass. 
" A bagge of gunpowder," which had come into the pos- 
session of the salvages, " they carefully preserved till the 
next spring, to plant as they did their corne, because 
they would be acquainted with the nature of that seede.^ 
Taken at length before " Powhattan, their Emperor," for 
the second time Smith had sentence of death passed 
upon him. " Two great stones were brought ; as many 
as could, layd hands on him, dragged him to them, and 
thereon laid his head, being ready with their clubs to 
beate out his braines." At this juncture " Pocahontas, 
the king's dearest daughter," a beautiful girl, the " non- 
pareil of the country," was touched with pity for the 
white-skinned stranger; and, "when no intreaty could 
prevaile," she rushed forward and " got his head in her 
armes, and laid her owne upon his to save him from 
death," and thus succeeded, at the risk of her life, in ob- 
taining the pardon of the prisoner. Pocahontas was 
afterwards married to John Rolfe, "an honest and dis- 
creet " young Englishman, and from her some of the first 
families of the Old Dominion are proud to trace their 

1 This account is abridged from The True Travels^ Adventures, and 
Observations of Captain John Smith in Europe, Asia, Africke, and America^ 
Londpn, 1629 ; and The Generall Historie of Virginia, New England, and 
the Sommer /s/es, London, 1627 — ^two most quaint and delightful works, of 


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The French Plantations, 25 

The State of FLORIDA, as the name imports, was 
originally a Spanish colony. LOUISIANA, NEW ORLEANS, 
MOBILE, and many other names, remind us that, in the 
reign of Louis XIV., France held firm possession of the 
Valley of the Mississippi, and stretched a chain of forts, 
by ST. LOUIS, ST. CHARLES, and the State of Illinois, to 
FOND DU LAC and LAC SUPERIEUR, the " Upper Lake " 
of the great chain of lakes, as far as DETROIT, the " nar- 
row passage " between the LAC ST. CLAiR and Lake Erie. 
In Canada we are surrounded by French names. QUEBEC 
is a name transferred from Brittany,^ and MONTREAL is 
the " Royal Mount," so named by the Frenchman Cartier 
in 1535. Lake CHAMPLAIN takes- its name from Champ- 
lain, a bold Normand adventurer "delighting marvellously 
in these enterprises," who joined an Indian war-party, 
and was the first to explore the upper waters of the St 
Lawrence and the Mississippi. The Habitans (as the 
French Canadians of the Lower Province are called) still 
retain the characteristics of the Normand peasantry in 
the time of Louis XIV. Cape BRETON was discovered, 
by mariners from Brittany, as early as the lifetime of 
Columbus. The name of the State of verjiqnt shows 
that it came within the great French ' dominipn, and the 

which a well-edited reprint would be opportune. A brief narrative of 
Smith's adventures will be found in Bancroft, HUtory oftht United States^ 
voL t pp. 94 — 112; Drake, Book of the Indians^ bk. iv. pp. 7 — 18; and 
Cooley, History of Maritime and Inland Discovery^ vol. ii pp. 212 — 215. 
See also Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, 1614. Smith, of Virginia, 
bore for arms a chevron, between the three Turks' heads, which he had cut 
off. He is the hero of the Blackletter Ballad in the British Museum, 
entitled — "The Honor of a London Prentice; being an account of his 
matchless manhood and boyhood."— Smith's Antiquarian Ramble in the 
Streets of London, vol. ii. p. 133. 

1 The etymology of Lamartiniere from Quel heel What a cape ! is too 
absurd to need refutation. 


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26 Namei of Recent Origin. 

State of MAINE repeats in the New World the name of 
one of the maritime provinces of France. But the genius 
of Lord Chatham wrested the empire of the New World 
from France ; and Fort Du Quesne, the key of the French 
position in the Valley of the Ohio, under its new name of 
PITTSBURGH, commemorates the triumphs of the great 
war-minister, and is now one of the largest cities in 
the United States. 

The State of DELAWARE was "planted" in 1610 by 
Lord De la Warr, under a patent granted by James I. 
The further progress of colonization in this region is 
commemorated by the Roman Catholic colony of MARY- 
LAND, named after Henrietta Maria, Queen of Charles 
I. ; and BALTIMORE, the capital of the State, takes its 
name from Lord Baltimore, the patentee of the new 
colony,^ who thus transferred to the New World the 
Celtic name of the little Irish village from which he de- 
rived his title. 

New jersey, in like manner, was founded under a 
patent granted, in the reign of Charles IL, to Geoi^e 
Carteret, Lord Jersey ; while NOVA SCOTIA was a con- 
cession to Sir William Alexander, a Scotchman, who, 
with a band of his compatriots, settled there in the time 
of James II. Its recolonization in the reign of George 
II. is marked by the name of HALIFAX, given in honour 
of Lord Halifax, the president of the Board of Trade. 

The city of Charleston, Albemarle Sound, the 
rivers ASHLEY and COOPER, and the States of North and 
South CAROLINA,^ date from the time of the Restoration ; 

* Calendar of State Papers^ Colonial Series^ 1632. 

' The name of the Carolinas seems to have been revived at this period, 
having been originally given at the time of the first colonization by the 
Huguenots in the reign of Charles IX. of France. 


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Progress of English Colonization. 2J 

and the people are justly proud of the historical asso- 
ciations which attach to many of the local names.^ 
ANNAPOLIS, the capital of Maryland, as well as the 
RAPIDAN and NORTH ANNA Rivers, bring us to the reign 
of Queen Anne ; and GEORGIA, the last of the thirteen 
colonies, dates from the reign of George IT. NEW 
INVERNESS, in Georgia, was settled by Highlanders im- 
plicated in the rebeUion of 1745. FREDERICKSBURG, the 
scene of the recent bloody repulse of the Federals, and 
FREDERICK CITY, in Maryland, bear the name of the 
weak and worthless son of George IL As has been 
observed by the Southern correspondent of the Titnes^ 
•* It is safe to observe that Virginia has done more than 
the mother country to keep alive the memory of a prince, 
who lives for Englishmen only as he is gibbeted in the 
Memoirs of Lord Harvey." ■ 

The Scandinavian colony of NEW SWEDEN has been 
absorbed by the States of Pennsylvania, Delaware, and 
New Jersey ; but a few names, like SWEDESBORO* and 
DONA, still remain as evidences of a fact now almost 

The map of the State of NEW YORK takes us back to 
the reign of Charles II. The King's brother, James, 
Duke of York and Albany, had a grant made to him 
of the as yet unconquered Dutch colony of the NEW 
NETHERLANDS, the two chief cities of which, NEW AM- 
STERDAM and FORT ORANGE, Were rechristened, after 
the Dutch had been dispossessed, by the names of NEW 
YORK and ALBANY, from the titles of the royal patentee. 
The names of the KATSKILL Mountains, staten Island, 

* Yiyissx^Ly Diary North and Souths voL I p. 171. 
■ Times, Dec. 27, i86a. 


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28 Names of Recent Origin. 

Island, the haarlem River, and the villages of flush- 
ing, STUYVESANT, and BLAUVELT,! are among the local 
memorials which still remind us of the Dutch dominion 
in North America.* 

The Dutch colony in South America has had a greater 
permanence. NEW AMSTERDAM, fredenberg, blauw- 
BERG, and many other Dutch names in the same neigh- 
bourhood, surrounded as they are by Portuguese and 
Spanish names, are an exhibition of the results of in- 
trusive colonization, and are instructive analogues of ob- 
scure phenomena, which we shall hereafter find exhibited 
on the Continent of Europe. 

Cape horn, or rather cape hoorn, as it should 
properly be written, is also a vestige of the early enter- 
prise of Holland. The name is derived from Hoorn, a 
village on the Zuyder Zee, which was the birthplace of 
Schouten,^ the first seaman who succeeded in doubling 
the Cape. Before the time of Schouten's voyage, the 
Pacific had been entered by the STRAITS OF MAGAL- 
haens, a passage between Tierra del Fiiego and the 
mainland, which had been discovered by a man who, for 
genius, fertility of resource, and undaunted courage, de- 
serves a place on the roll of fame beside Columbus, 
Cortez, Smith, and Hudson. Fernando Magalhaens was 
a Portuguese, engaged in the Spanish service, and was 
sent out to wrest from his fellow-countrymen the pos- 
session of the Moluccas, which, under the terms of the 

^ We may add the names of Kinderhook, Haverstraw, Spuyten Duyvel, 
Watervliet, Rooeefdt, Roseboom, Rosendale, Staatsburg, and Clavcrack. 

> The word creek, which often appears in American river-names, appears 
to be a vestige of the Dutch dominion. Kreek is a common suffix in the 
Netherlands. Forstemann, Ortsnamen^ p. 35. 

> Esquiros, The Dutch at Homey voL i. p. 255. 


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Magalhaens, 29 

famous Papal Bull, were conceived to be included in the 
Spanish moiety of the world. Threading his way 
through the straits which bear his name, Magalhaens 
held on his way, in spite of the mutiny of his crews, the 
loss of one ship, and the desertion of another, and at 
last reached the Philippine Islands, where, during an 
attack by the natives, he fell beneath a shower of spears. 
TORRES* STRAITS bear the name of one of Magalhaens* 

The PHILIPPINES and the CAROLINES bear the names 
of two Spanish monarchs, Philip II. and Charles II., 
under whose respective auspices the first were colonized 
and the second were discovered. 

The MARQUESAS received their name in honour of the 
Marquis Mendoza detCafiete, who, from his Viceroyalty 
of Peru, equipped the expedition which led to the dis- 
covery. But these were not the only results of Spanish 
enterprise in the Pacific. JUAN Fernandez, a bold 
Spanish sailor, chanced upon the solitary isle which bears 
his name — an island which is chiefly memorable to 
Englishmen from having been, for four years, the abode 
of one of Dampier*s comrades — ^Alexander Selkirk, 
whose adventures suggested to De Foe the inimitable 
fiction of Robinson Crusoe. The BERMUDAS, " the still- 
vexed Bermoothes," alluded to in Shakespeare's Tempesty 
were discovered, at an earlier period, by another Spaniard, 
Juan Bermudez: they took the name of the SOMERS 
ISLANDS, by which they were long known, from the ship- 
wreck of Sir George Somers, one of the deputy-governors 
of Virginia.^ 

We cannot complete the list of Spanish explorers 
without a mention of the name of ORELLANA, which, 
^ See Calendar 0/ State Papers, Colonial Series, i6io. 


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30 Names of Recent Origin. 

according to some maps, is borne by the largest river of 
the world. There are few more romantic narratives of 
adventure than the history of Orellana's voyage down 
the Amazons. In the company of Gonzales Pizarro he 
left Peru, and having penetrated through the trackless 
Andes, he came upon the head waters of a great river. 
The provisions brought by the explorers having at length 
become exhausted, their shoes and their saddles were 
boiled and eaten, to serve as a condiment to such roots 
as could be procured by digging. Meanwhile the ener- 
gies of the whole party were engaged in the construction 
of a small bark, in which Orellana and fifty men com- 
mitted themselves to the mighty stream, which, in seven 
long months, floa'ted them down to the Atlantic, through 
the midst of lands utterly unknown, clad to the water's 
edge with gigantic forest-trees, and peopled by savage 
and hostile tribes. Not content, however, with describing 
the real perils of the voyage, or, perhaps, half-crazed by 
the hardships which he had undergone, Orellana, on his 
return to Spain, gave the reins to his imagination, and 
related wild travellers' tales concerning a nation of female 
warriors who had opposed his passage; and posterity 
has punished his untruthfulness by enshrining, in a 
memorial name, the story of the fabled amazons, and 
letting the remenibrance of the daring explorer fade 

We find the records of Portuguese adventure in BAHIA, 
PERNAMBUCO, BRAGANgA, and a host of other names 
in the Brazils, which were accidentally discovered by 
Cabral, who was sailing with an expedition destined for 
the East Indies, But the great field of Portuguese 

1 See Cooley, Hist, of Afaritinu attd Inland Discovery, vol. il p. S4 ; 
Prescott, Conquest oj Peru, vol. ii. pp. 320—323. 


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Portuguese and Dutch Discoverers. 3 1 

enterprise lay in the East, where the names BOMBAY, 
MACAO, and FORMOSA, attest the widespread nature of 
the commerce which the newly found sea-route to India 
threw into the hands of its discoverers. Their track is 
marked by such names as SALDANHA BAY, CAPE AGUL- 
HAS, ALGOA BAY, and CAPE DELGADO, which we find 
scattered along the southern coasts of Africa. The 
name of the Cape itself reveals the spirit of hopeful 
enterprise which enabled the Portuguese to achieve so 
much. Bartholomew Diaz, baffled by tempests, was 
unable, on his first expedition, to weather the cape which 
he had discovered, and he, therefore, named it CABO TOR- 
MENTOSO — the Cape of Storms — a name which John, 
the sanguine and enterprising king, changed to the CABO 
DE BONA ESPERANZA, arguing the GOOD HOPE which 
existed of the speedy discovery of the long-wished-for 
route to the realms of " Ormus and of Ind." ^ 

The Eastern route found by the Portuguese was soon 
followed by the Dutch. The names of the MAURITIUS 
and the ORANGE RIVER were bestowed by them at the 
time when, under the Stadtholder Maurice, Prince of 
Orange, they were heroically striving against the colossal 
power of Spain. This death-struggle for freedom did 
not prevent them pursuing their discoveries in the 
Eastern seas : and at the lowest point of their fortunes, 
when all seemed likely to be lost, it was soberly proposed 
to cut the dykes and leave the Spaniards the task of 
once more reclaiming Holland from the waves, and for 
themselves to embark their families and their wealth, and 
seek in BATAVIA, a new eastern home for the Bata- 
vian nation. 

From their colonies of Ceylon and Java, the Dutch 

* Cooley, History of Discovery, vol. i. p. 374. 


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32 Names of Recent Otigin, 

fitted out numerous expeditions to explore the then 
unknown Southern Seas. Carpenter, a Dutch captain, 
was the first to discover the northern portion of the 
Australian continent His name is attached to the Gulf 
of CARPENTARIA; and the "great island" in the gulf 
bears the Dutch name of GROOTE EYLANDT, which he 
gave to it The earliest circumnavigation of the new 
southern continent was achieved by means of two vessels 
of discovery, which were equipped by Antony VAN 
DIEMEN, the Governor of Batavia, and entrusted to the 
command of Abel Jansen TASMAN. new ZEALAND and 
NEW HOLLAND, the chief fruits of this expedition, had 
conferred upon them the names of two of the United 
Provinces ; and on the discovery of a third large island, 
an attachment as romantic as a Dutchman may be 
supposed capable of feeling, caused the rough sailor, if 
tradition speaks the truth, to inscribe upon our maps the 
name of the beautiful daughter of the Batavian governor, 
Maria Van Diemen.^ 

We may here briefly enumerate a few remaining dis- 
coverers, whose names are found scattered over our maps. 
DAMPIER's Archipelago and wafer Inlet bear the names 
of William Dampier and Lionel Wafer, the leaders of a 
band of West Indian buccaneers Who marched across the 
Isthmus of Darien (each man provided only with four 
cakes of bread, a fusil, a pistol, and a hanger), and who, 
having seized a Spanish ship, continued for a long time 
to be the terror of the Pacific. Kerguellen was an 

^ In consequence of an ignorant prejudice, which was supposed to deter 
intending colonists, the name of Van Diemen*8 Land, or Demon^s Land, 
as it was called, has, after the lapse of two centuries, been changed to 
TASMANIA, in honour of the sailor who preferred the fame of his mistress to 
his own. 


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Tasman, Bekring, and Vancouver. 33 

officer in the French service, who, in the reign of Louis 
XV., discovered the island called KERGUELLEN*S LAND ; 
while JAN MEYEN, a Dutch whaling captain, has handed 
down his obscure name by his re-discovery of that snow- 
clad island cone, which forms such a striking frontispiece 
to Lord DufTerin's amusing volume. 

Behring, a Dane by birth, was sent by Peter the 
Great to explore the eastern shores of Asia. He crossed 
Siberia, and having constructed a small vessel on the 
coast of Kamtschatka, he discovered the strait which 
separates Asia from America. On his return from a 
second expedition, his ship was wrecked, and the hardy 
sailor, surrounded by the snows and ice of an Arctic 
winter, perished miserably of cold, hunger, and fatigue, 
on an island which bears his name. 

At the instance of the British Government, Captain 
VANCOUVER succeeded in surveying 9,000 miles of the 
unknown western coast-line of America. His name 
stands side by side with those of Hudson, Behring, 
Franklin, and Cook — ^the martyrs of geographical science; 
for the exposure and the toil which he underwent proved 

Mr. Bass, a naval surgeon, in an open whale-boat 
manned by a crew of six men, made a voyage of 600 
miles, which resulted in the discovery of BASS'S STRAITS, 
which separate Van Diemen's Land from the Australian 

The discoveries of Captain Cook are so well known, 
that a brief reference to the names which he added to 
our maps may here suffice. He was despatched to ob- 
serve the Transit of Venus in 1769. In this expedition 
he discovered the SOCIETY ISLANDS, so named from 
the Royal Society, at whose instigation the expedition 

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34 Names of Recent Origin. 

had been undertaken; as well as the SANDWICH ISLANDS, 
called after Lord Sandwich, the First Lord of the 
Admiralty, who had consented to send it out. In his 
second voyage, Captain Cook explored and named the 

We must not forget those Arctic explorers who, 
within the last half-century, have added so largely to 
our geographical knowledge. The names of MACKENZIE, 

KANE, perpetually remind those who examine the map 
of the Arctic regions, of the skill, the cours^e, and the 
endurance of the brave men who have, at last, solved 
the problem of three hundred years — ** the only thing of 
the world yet left undone by which a notable minde 
might be made famous."* Such names as REPULSE bay, 

to the memory of the readers of Arctic adventure some 
of the most thrilling passages in those narratives ; and, 
at the same time, they form a melancholy record of the 
difficulties, the hardships, the disappointments, and the 
failures, which seemed only to braven the resolution and 
to nerve the courage of men whom all Englishmen, are 
proud to be able to call their fellow-countrymen. 

Mention has already been made of the Sandwich 
Islands and the Marquesas, as commemorating the 
names of statesmen who have been instrumental in 
furthering the progress of geographical discovery. Other 
names of this class — ^prime-ministers, eminent statesmen, 
I See p. i& 


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Names of Statesmen and Princes, 35 

lords of the admiralty, and secretaries of the navy — are 
to be found in great profusion in the regions which have 
most recently been explored. We may instance the 

TON, and SYDNEY.i Port PHILLIP, BRISBANE, the River 
DARLING, and MACQUARIE take their names from 
governors of the Australian Colonies, and Lake SIMCOE 
from a governor of Canada. BOOTHIA FELIX, grinnell 
LAND, smith's SOUND, and jONES' SOUND commemorate 
merchant-princes who fitted out exploring expeditions 
fxom their private resources ; while the names of KING 

ALBERT are scattered so lavishly over our maps, as to 
prove a serious source of embarrassment to the young 
student of geography; while, at the same time, their 
English origin testifies to the energy and success with 
which, during the last hundred years, every comer of 
the globe has been explored by Englishmen. 

1 Chatham Island does not belong to this cla^ : it bean the name oi 
the brig Chatham, by which it was discovered. Cf. Mt. er£BU$» fury 
Beach, &c. 

D 2 

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36 Mthnologual Value of Local Names. 



Local names are the beacon-lights of primeval History — The method of 
research illustrated by American Names — Recent progress of Ethnology — 
The CdtSy Anglo-Saxons, and Northmen — Retrocession of the Sclaves-— 
Arabic Names — Ethnology of mountain districts — The Alps, 

Ethnology is the science which derives the greatest 
aid from geographical etymolc^y. The names which 
still remain upon our maps are able to supply us with 
traces of the history of nations that have left us no other 
memorials. Egypt has bequeathed to us her pyramids, 
her temples, and her tombs ; Nineveh her palaces ; Judsea 
her people and her sacred books ; Mexico her temple- 
mounds; Arabia her science; India her institutions; 
Greece her deathless literature ; and Rome has left us 
her roads, her aqueducts, her laws, and the languages 
which still live on the lips of half the civilized world. 
But there are other nations which once played a pro- 
minent part in the world's history, but which have be- 
queathed no written annals, which have constructed no 
monuments, whose language is dying or is dead, whose 
blood is becoming mingled with that of other races. 
The knowledge of the history and the migrations of 
such tribes must be recovered from the study of the 
names of the places which they once inhabited, but 

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Names are the Beacon-lights of PHmeval History, 37 

which now know them no more — ^from the names of the 
hills which they fortified, of the rivers by which they 
dwelt, of the distant mountains upon which they gazed. 
As an eloquent writer has observed, "Mountains and 
rivers still murmur the voices of nations long denation- 
alized or extirpated."^ Language adheres to the soil 
when the race by which it was spoken has been swept 
from off the earth, or when its remnants have been 
driven from the plains which they once peopled into the 
fastnesses of the surrounding mountains. 

It is mainly from the study of local names that we 
must reconstruct the history of the Sclaves, the Celts, 
and the Basques, as well as the earlier chronicles of the 
Scandinavian and Teutonic races ; while from the same 
source we are able to throw great light upon the more 
or less obscure records of the conquests and.coloniza- 
tions of the PhcEnicians, the Greeks, iK^.^^^pansr and*"*"^ 
the Arabs. In many instances, we cAff^lmus convert 
dubious surmises into the clearest historical certainties. 

The nomenclature of America, the nature of which 
has been indicated in the preceding chapter, may serve 
to explain the method by which etymological considera- 
tions become available in ethnological inquiries. Here 
we -have a simple case, where we possess documentary 
evidence as to the facts which we might expect to be 
disclosed by etymological investigations, and where we 
can ^thus exhibit the method of research, and at the 
same time test the value of the results to which it leads. 

If we examine a map of America, we find names 
derived from a dozen languages. We first notice a few 
scattered Indian names, such as the POTOMAC, the 
JIAPPAHANOCK, or NIAGARA. These names are sparsely 

1 Palgraye, Normandy and England^ vqL i. p. 701. 


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3? Ethnological Value of Local Names, 

distributed over lai^e areas, some of them filled almost 
exclusively with English names, while in others, the 
names are mostly of Spanish or P<Mtuguese origin — ^the 
boundary between the regions of the English and 
Spanish, or of the Spanish and Portuguese names being 
easily traceable. In Louisiana and Lower Canada we 
find a predominance of French names, many of them 
exhibiting Normand and Breton peculiarities. In New 
York we find, here and there, a few Dutch names, as 
well as patches of German names in Michigan and 
Brazil. We find that the Indian, Dutch, and French 
names have more frequently been corrupted than those 
derived cither from the English or from the Spanish 
languages. In New England we find names like SALEM 
and PROVIDENCE; in Virginia we find such names as 
JAMES River, Cape Charles, and Elizabeth County. 
In many places the names of the Old World are re- 
peated : we find a NEW ORLEANS, a NEW BRUNSWICK, 
a NEW HAMPSHIRE, and the like. 

If we were entirely destitute of any historical records 
of the actual course of American colonization, it is 
evident that, with the aid of the map alone, we might 
recover many most important facts, and put together 
an outline, by no means to be despised, of the early 
history of the continent ; — we might successfully in* 
vestigate the retrocession and extinction of the Indian 
tribes — ^we might discover the positions in which the 
colonies of the several European nations were planted 
— ^we might show, from the character of the names, 
how the gradually increasing supremacy of the Anglo- 
American stock must have enabled it to incorporate, 
and overlay with a layer of English names, the colonies 
of other, nations, such as the Spanish settlements in 

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The Method of Research, 39 

Florida and Texas, the Dutch colony in the neighbour- 
hood of New York, and the French settlements on the 
St. Lawrence and the Mississippi. We might even go 
further, and attempt to discriminate between the colonies 
founded by Puritans and by Cavaliers ; and if we pos- 
sessed a knowledge of English and French history, we 
might assign approximate dates for the original founda- 
tion of a large number of the several settlements. In 
some cases we might be able to form probable conjec- 
tures as to the causes and methods of the migration, and 
the condition of the early colonists. Our investigations 
would be much facilitated if we also possessed a full 
knowledge of the /fw^w/ circumstances of the country — 
if) for example. We knew that the English language now 
forms the universal medium of communication through- 
out large districts, which, nevertheless, are filled with 
Spanish or French names ; or if we learned that in the 
State of New York the Indian and Dutch languages are 
tio longer spoken, while many old families bear Dutch, 
but none of them Indian surnames. The study of the 
local names, illustrated by the knowledge of such facts, 
would enable us to reconstmct, in great part, the history 
of the country, and would prove that succes^ve bands 
of immigrants may forget their mother-tongue, and 
abandon all distinctive national peculiarities, but that 
the names which, on their first arrival) they bestowed 
upon the places of their abode, are sure to remain upon 
the ma^ as a permanent record of the nature and extent 
of the original colonizations. 

Centuries hence, when Macaulay's New Zealander 
shall have succeeded in escaping from his perilous 
position on the broken arch of London Bridge, and has 
taken up his stand among certain fallen columns which 


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40 Ethnological Value of Local Names, 

mark the supposed site of the British Museum, there to 
lament the destruction of the literary treasures which 
might have enabled him to investigate the early history 
of the land of his ancestors, he will do well to devote 
himself to a comparison of the local names of New 
Zealand with those of the United States ; and he will 
find it easy to prove that the two countries must have 
been peopled from the same source, and under circum- 
stances not very dissimilar, and he might succeed in 
recovering, from a comparison and analysis of English 
and New Zealand names, many of those facts which he 
fancied had been lost for ever. 

We shall hereafter investigate classes of names which 
present a perfect parallelism to those in America. In 
the case of Spain, the Celtic, Phoenician, Arabic, and 
Spanish names answer in many points to the strata of 
Indian, Dutch, French, and English names which we 
find superimposed in the United States ; while an 
isolated name like Swedesboro*, in New Jersey, may be 
compared with that of the town of ROZAS, which stands 
upon the Gulf of RHODA — ^names which have handed 
down the memory of the ancient Rhodian colony in 
North-eastern Spain. Again, the Scandinavian names 
scattered over a wide area throughout England, Ireland, 
Scotland, France, Flanders, Iceland, and Greenland, pre- 
sent a parallel to the names in the English colonies of 
North America, Australia, and New Zealand.^ The 
phenomena of the Old World are similar to those pre» 

1 In Norway, as in England, a strict law of primogeniture has dispersed 
the cadets of a fully -peopled country over a wide geographical area. In the 
guards of Norway are to be found peasant proprietors, clad in homespun, 
who are the lineal representatives of the elder line of the chief royal and noble 
families of Western Europe, — See Lain^ Heimskringla, vol. l p. 109. 


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A Novum Organum. 4X 

sented in the New. In either case, from similar pheno- 
mena we may draw similar inferences. 

This method of research — the application of which has 
been exhibited in the familiar instance of the United 
States, where the results attained can be compared with 
well-known facts — ^has of late years been repeatedly ap- 
plied, and often with great success, to cases in which local 
names are the only records which exist. 

Wilhelm Von Humboldt was one of the pioneers in this 
new science of etymological ethnology. On the maps of 
Spain, France, and Italy he has marked out,^ by the 
evidence of names alone, the precise regions which, before 
the period of the Roman conquest, were inhabited by 
those Euskarian or Iberic races who are now represented 
by the Basques — the mountaineers of the Asturias and 
the Pyrenees. He has also shown that large portions of 
Spain were anciently Celtic, and that there was a central 
zone inhabited by a mixed population of Euskarians and 

Archdeacon Williams,' in like manner, has indicated 
the limits of the Celtic region in Northern Italy, and has 
pointed out detached Celtic colonies in the central por- 
tion of that peninsula. Mone,' Diefenbach,* Duncker,* 
Brandes,*^ and other industrious explorers have followed 
the wanderings of this ancient people through Switzerland, 
Germany, and France, and have shown that, in those 
countries, the Celtic speech still lives upon the map, 
though it has vanished from the glossary. 

1 Prufung der Untersuchungen iiber die Urbeivohner Hispanims. 

* Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh^ vol. xiiL 
s CelOsche Forschungen xur Geschichte Mitteleuropas. 

* Celtica, 

* Origines Germanica, 

* Das Ethnographische Verhaltniss der Kelten und Germanen, 


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42 Ethnological Value of Local Names, 

From the evidence of local names .alone> Prichard^ has 
demonstrated that the ancient Belgae were of Celtic, and 
not of Teutonic race, as had previously been supposed. 
So cogent is the evidence supplied by these names, that 
ethnologists are agreed in setting aside the direct testi- 
mony of sych a good authority as Caesar, who asserts that 
the Belgae were of German blood." 

In our own country, this method has afforded results 
of peculiar interest and value. It has enabled us to 
detect the successive tides of immigration that have 
ilowed in ; just as the ripple-marked slabs of sandstone 
record the tidal flow of the primeval ocean, so wave after 
>yave of population — Gaelic, Cymric, Roman, Saxon, 
Anglian, Norwegian, Danish, Norman, Frisian, and 
Flemish — ^has left its mark upon the once shifting, but 
now indurated sands of language. 

Baxter and Lhuyd,* Chalmers,* Whitaker,* Skene,* 
Robertson,' Gamett,* Davies,* Latham,* and other writers 
have investigated the Celtic names of our own islands. 
Not only have they shown that the whole of England 
was once Celtic, but they have made it probable that the 
Scottish lowlands were peopled by tribes belonging to 
the Welsh and not to the Gaelic stock, thus clearing up 

^ Researches inio the Physical History of Mankind^ yol. iii. 
' Latham, English Language, vol L p. 12. 

* Ghssarium AntiquiUUum Britannicarum, Appendix by Edward 

* Caledonia, 

» History of Manchester, 

* History of the Highlandert. 

^ Scotland under her early Kingi% 

8 Papers in the Proceedings and Transactions of Philological Society^ and 
in the Quarterly Review, 

» English Language^ vol. i. pp. 363 — 367 ; Ethnology of the British 


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English Ethnology. 43 

some of the disputed questions as to the affinities and 
distribution of the Picts and Scots. 

The study of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian names 
has been prosecuted by Leo/ Ingram," Kemble,' Worsaae,* 
Ferguson,* Borring,* Depping,' Palgrave,' and Lappen* 
berg.' They have shown how we may draw the line 
between the Anglian and the Saxon kingdoms — ^how, 
from the study of the names of the villages of Lincoln- 
shire, of Leicestershire, of Caithness, of Cumberland, of 
Pembrokshire, of Iceland, and of Normandy, we may 
learn the almost-forgotten story of the fierce Vikings, 
who left the fiords of Norway and the vies of Denmark, 
to plunder and to conquer the coasts and kingdoms of 
Western Europe. 

By the use of the same method, Buttmann," Bender,^^ 
and Zeuss^^ have shown how we may investigate the ob- 
scure relations of the tribes of Eastern Europe, and mark 
the oscillations of the boundaries of the Sclaves and Ger- 
mans, and even detect the alternate encroachments and 
retrocessions of either race. Thus in Eastern Bavaria, 
which is now a purely German district, we find scattered 
Sclavonic names, more especially in the Valley of the 
Naab.^* From the number and character of these names, 

1 ReUiiudims Singuiarum Personarum* 
s Appendix to Saxon Chronidc 

* Codix DiplomatUus^ vol. iii. ; Saxons in England, 

< Tlu Danes and Norwegians. ' The Northtnen in Cumberland, 

* Sttr la limite Miridionale de la Monarckie Danoise. 
' Histoire des Expeditions Maritimes des Normands. 

* England and Normandy. ' Anglo-Norman iLtngs, 
V Vie Deutschen Ortsnamen. 

u Die Deutschen und die Nachharstdmme. 

^ In the Aischthal, the presence of the Wends is denoted by names like 
Brodswinden, Ratzenwinden, Poppenwind, Reinhardswind, &c. In Wiir- 
tembeii^ we find Windischgriitz and Winnenden ; in Badei^ Windisohbuchi 


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44 Ethnological Value of Local Names. 

we may infer that, at some remote period,^ the Sclavo- 
nians must have extended themselves westward much 
beyond the present frontier of Bohemia,' even as far as 
Darmstadt, where the River WESCHNITZ marks the ex^ 
treme western limit of Sclavonic occupancy. For several 
centuries, however, the German language has been en- 
croaching towards the east ; and the process is now going 
on with accelerated speed. In Bohemia, where almost 
every local name is Sclavonic, and where five-and-twenty 
years ago few of the elder people knew any language 
but their Bohemian speech, we find that the adults are 
now universally able to speak German ; and in half a 
century, there is every likelihood that the Bohemian 
language will be extinct." 

Farther to the north a similar process has also taken 
place. Proceeding from west to east, the River BOMLITZ, 
near Verden in Hanover, is the first Sclavonic name we 
meet with. In Holstein, Mecklenburg, Luneburg, and 
Saxony — ^in East and West Prussia — in Brandenburg 
and Pomerania — ^we find numerous Sclavonic names,^ 

in Saxony, Wendischhayn ; in Brunswick, Wenden and Wendhausen ; in 
Westphalia, Windheim and Wenden. — Schafarik, Slaw, Alterth, vol. i 
p. 85 ; Bender,, Deutschen Ortsnamen, p. 31 ; Zeuss, Die Deutschen; 
Latham, Nat, of Europe^ voL ii. pp. 321, 309. 

^ It is probable that, in the fifth and sixth centuries, the Sdaves took 
possession of the regions left vacant by the inroads of the Teutonic nations 
toward the west and south ; while in the seventh and eighth centuries the 
Germans began to recover the lost ground, and to drive ^e Sdaves to the 
eastward. - 

■ See Latham, English Language^ vol. i. p. 106 ; Nat. of Europe^ vol, 
ji. p. 357; vol. i. p. 4; Germania^ p. 151 ; Philological Proceedings, voL iv. 
p. 187. For a list of Sclavonic names in the Valley of the Mayn, see 
Zeuss, Die Deutschen^ pp. 649, 650. 

• Ansted, Trip to Hungary^ p. 79. 

^ Zeuss, Die Deutschen und die Nachharstamtne^ p. 676; Bender, 
Ortsnamen^ p. 90. 


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Retrocession of the Sclaves. 45 

such as POTSDAM,^ LEIPSIG, LOBAU, Of KULM, scattered 
over an area which is now purely German. These names 
gradually increase in frequency as we proceed eastward, 
till, at lengthy in Silesia, we find that the local names 
are all Sclavonic, although the people universally speak 
German, except on the eastern rim of the Silesian basin, 
where the ancient speech still feebly lingers.* 

It will be manifest that this distribution of Sclavonic 
names will greatly guide us in interpreting the obscure 
hi^orical notices which relate to the great struggle by 
which, in the ninth and tenth centuries, Mecklenburg, 
Pomerania, Brandenburg, Silesia, Saxony, and part of 
Courland were wrested by the Germans from the 

The names in Eastern Europe illustrate the maxim 
that Ethnology must always be studied with due 
reference to Hydrography. In rude times, the rivers 
form the great highways. The Rhine, the Danube, and 
the Elbe seem to have regulated the directions of the 
early movements of nations. And the distribution of 
Sclavonic names proves that the Sclaves must, originally, 
have descended by the valleys of the Elbe and the 
Mayn, just as the Germans descended by the valley of 
the Danube, where we find a wedge or elbow of German 
names protruding eastward into the Sclavonic region. 
So, again, in Hungary we find that the central plains 
are occupied by the Magyar shepherds from the 
steppes of the Volga, while the original Sclavonic 

I Potsdam is a Germanized form of the Sclavonic Potsdupimi. Forste- 
mann, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. i p. 15. 

* The phenomena, in fact, are analogous to those which are exhibited as 
we proceed from Somersetshire, through Devonshire, to Cornwall. 

' Ijitham, Man and his Migratums, p. 165. 


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46 Ethnological Value of Local Names, 

population has been driven to the mountain region 
on either side.^ Still farther to the east we find the 
isolated Saxon colony of Siebenbiiigen (Tfansylvania), 
where, surrounded on all sides by Sclavonic, Magyar, 
and Wallachian names, we find cities called Kronstadt, 
Hermannstadt, Klaussenburg, Elisabethstadt, and Miih- 
lenbach, which are inhabited by a population that has 
been transferred from the Lower Rhine to the Lower 
Danube. For seven centuries this little colony has 
retained, unchanged, its own peculiar laws, language, 
institutions, and customs. Siebenbiirgen, in fact, 
presents a w^ell-conserved museum of mediaeval pecu- 
liarities — a living picture of Ancient Germany, just as 
in Iceland we find the language and customs of our 
Scandinavian ancestors still subsisting, without any 
material change.' 

We find similar phenomena in the west and south. 
Franche Comt6, Burgundy, and Lombardy contain 
many di^;uised German names — evidences of ancient 
conquests by Germanic tribes, which have now lost 
their ancient speech, and have completely merged their 
nationality in that of the conquered races.' In Alsace, 
which has now become thoroughly French in feeling and 
in language, the German names of the villages have 
suffered no corruption during the short period which has 
elapsed since the conquest under Louis XIV. 

1 The Sclavonic inroad into Greece is well marked by local names, snch 
as WALIGOST, which extend even into the Peloponnesus. — Zeuss, DU Deut- 
schen, p. 634; Amdt, Europ, Spr, p. 105; Schafairik, Slawischi Alter- 
thiimery voL it p. 226 ; Keferstein, Ktlf. AlUrth, vol iL p. 436. 

> Ansted, Trip to Hungary and Transylvania^ pp. 30, 31. 

* See Latham's Germania of Tacitus^ Epilegomena, pp. xxzix. and Iv. ; 
Nationalities 0/ Europe, vol. ii. p. 283 ; Lewis, On the Romance LanguagUy 
p. 18. 


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. Ethnology of Mountain Districts, 47 

' The Arabic names which we find in Asia, in Africa, in 
Spain, in Sicily, in Southern Italy, in Provence, and even 
in some valleys of the Alps, tell us of the triumphs of 
the Crescent from the Indus to the Loire. In some 
instances, these names even disclose the manner in which 
the Mahometan hosts were recruited for the conquest of 
Europe from the valley of the Euphrates and the borders 
of the Sahara ; and we can trace the settlement of these 
far-travelled conquerors in special valleys of Spain or 

In mountainous regions, the etymological method 
of ethnological research is of special value, and yields 
ce^ults more definite than elsewhere. Among the 
mountains the botanist and the ethnologist meet with 
analogous phenomena. The lowland flora of the glacial 
Q>och has retreated to the Grampians, the Carpathians, 
the Alps, and the Pyrenees ; ^ and in like manner we 
find that the hills contain the ethnological sweepings of 
the plains. Mountain fastnesses have always formed a 
providential refuge for conquered tribes. The narrow 
valleys which penetrate into the great chains are well 
^apted to preserve for a time the isolation of unrelated 
tribes of refugees, to hinder the intermixture of race, and 
thus preserve from extermination or absorption those, 
who should afterwards, at the right time, blend gradually 
with the conquerors of the plains, and supplement their 
moral and intellectual deficiencies.^ 

Instances of this peculiar ethnological character of 
mountain districts will occur to every one. The 
Bengalees, though they are in geographical contact 
with the hill tribes of India, are yet, in blood, further 

I See Darwin, On the Origin of Species^ pp. 365 — 369, 

* Goldwin Smith, IHsh History and Irish Character^ p. 14. 


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48 Ethnological Value of Local Names. 

removed from them than from ourselves. Strabo informs 
us that in his day no less than seventy langfuages were 
spoken in the Caucasus, and the number of distinct 
dialects is probably, at the present time, quite as large. 
Here, in close juxtaposition, we find archaic forms of 
various Georgian, Mongolian, Persian, Semitic, and 
Tatarian languages, as well as anomalous forms of 
speech which bear no affinity to any known tongfue of 
Asia or of Europe.^ 

In the Pyrenees we find the descendants of the 
Euskarians, who have been driven from the lowlands 
of France and Spain. The fastnesses of Wales and 
of the Scotch Highlands have enabled the Celts of 
our own island to maintain their ancient speech and a 
separate existence. An inspection of the map of the 
British Isles will show that The Peak of Derbyshire 
and the mountains of Cumberland retain a greater 
number of Celtic names than the adjacent districts; 
and the hills of Devonshire have served as a barrier 
to protect the Celts of Cornwall from the Anglo-Saxon 

But Switzerland is the most notable instance of the 
ethnological interest attaching to a mountainous district. 
In a country only twice the size of Wales, the local 
names^ are derived from half a dozen separate languages, 
three or four of which are still spoken by the people, 
while in some districts almost every village preserves its 

^ Lyell, Antiquity of Man^ p. 460; Max Miiller, Lectures^ p. 52 ; Knobd, 
Vblkertafdt p. 14 ; Pott, Ungleichheit d. tnenschlicher Rassen^ p. 238, apud 
Renan, Orig, du Langagg, p. 176; Latham, Nationalitia of Europe^ voL i. 
p. 294. 

' An admirable monograph on the local names in Canton Zurich, by 
Dr. Meyer, will be found in the Mittheilungen der Antiq, Gesellschaft in 
Zurich^ voL vi. pt i. 


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Switzerland. 49 

separate dialect.^ Thus, in the Cantons of Neufch&tel, 
Vaud, Geneva, and in the western part of the Vaiais, 
French is the prevailing language. In the northern and 
central cantons, which were divided among Burgundian, 
Alemannic, and Suevic tribes, various high German 
dialects are spoken ;* while in Canton Ticino, and in 
portions of the Grisons, Italian is the only language 
understood. The Romansch language, spoken in the 
upper valley of the Rhine, is a debased Latin, with a few 
Celtic, German, and, possibly, some Iberic and Etruscan 
elements.^ In the Upper Engadine we find the 
Ladino, another Latin dialect,* distinct from the Ro- 
mansch ; while throughout the whole of Switzerland, 
numerous Celtic names* show traces of a still earlier 
wave of population, of which no othef evidence remains. 
Not only has the region of the Alps been the immemorial 
abode of Celts, but there also we find indications of 

1 PUmta, Romansch Language, p. 144; AdduDg, Mithridates, vol. ii. 
p. 602 ; Lewis, Romance Languages, p. 46. Stalder, Du Landes-spracfun 
der Sckweizj pp. 273 — ^418, gives specimens of thirty-five dialects of German, 
sixteen of French, five of Romansch, and eight of Italian, which are spoken 
in the several Swiss cantons. 

' German Switzerland is mainly Alemannic, French Switzerland is mainly 
Bnrgundian. In Berne, however, as well as' in portions of Freiburg, 
Latzem, and Argau, the Burgundians have retained their German speech. 
Grimm, Gesch. d, Deui, Spr. p. 703. 

' For instance, in the dialect of Groeden. Niebuhr, Hist, Rome, vol. i. 
p. 113. A list of Romansch words which are possibly Etruscan, will be 
found in Tschudi, HauptscklUssd, pp. 289^ 290. See also Steub's works. 
* See Lechner, Piz Languard, p. 28. 
An analysis of the names in Canton Zurich shows the following 
proportions : — 

e 9 cities. (3f 000 homesteads. 

Celtic { 100 important rivers, moun- Alemannic | 100 hamlets. 
\ tarns, and villages. ( 20 villages. 

The other names are of modem German origin. — Meyer, Ortsnamen, 
p. 75. 


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50 Ethnological Value of Local Names. 

fragments of intrusive races — the meteoric stones of 
Ethnology. Thus, in the Valley of Evolena, there are 
traces of the former presence of a race of doubtful origin 
— possibly Huns or Alans, who long retained their heath- 
enism.^ In some valleys of the Orisons there are names 
which suggest colonies from Southern Italy; for example, 
LAVIN, which is apparently a reproduction of Lavinium, 
and ARDETZ, of Ardea.* Mommsen, a high authority, 
believes the Rhoetians of the Orisons and the Tyrol to 
be the descendants of an ancient Etruscan stock ;^ while 
other valleys in the Valais and the Orisons astound us 
by the phenomenon of Arabic names, for whose presence 
we shall presently endeavour to account 

On the Italian side of the Alps we find valleys filled 
with Sclavonic names, besides many isolated villages of 
Teutonic colonists,* who still keep themselves distinct 

1 Forbes, Alp, p. 289 ; Diefenbach, Celtica^ L p. 238. 

■ Witte, Alpinisches und Transalpinisches, p. 124 ; Planta, Ramansch 
Langmge, p. 134. 

* The village-names of Tilisuna, Blisadona, Trins, Vels, Tschars, Natums, 
Velthurns, Schluderns, Villanders, Gufidaun, Altrans, Sistrans, Axams, 
and othera, bear a remarkable resemblance to those Etruscan names with 
which we are acquainted. Compare also the names Tusis and Tuscany, 
Rhoetia and Rasenna. This subject is discussed at great length in two 
works of Ludwig Steub, Ueber die Urbewohmr RdHms, und ihren Mttsam- 
menhang mit dm Etruskem, and Zur Rdlischen Eihnologie. Cf. Tschudi, 
Hauptschliissd tu verschiedenm AlUrthunumy p. 290 ; Adelung, Afithri' 
dates, vol. il p. 598 ; Mommsen, Hist. Rotm, vol. L p. 108 ; Inhabitants 
of Italy, p. 56; Newman, Regal Rome, p. 10 1; Note by Latham in 
Prichard's Eastern Origin of Celtic Nations, pp. 87—90 ; Niebuhr, Hist, 
Rome, vol L p. 113, and voL ii. p. 525; Dennis, Etruria, voL L pp. 
xxxiv. xlv. ; Pott, Indo-Germ. Spr, p. 25 ; Planta, Romansck Language^ 
p. 132. 

^ Thus in the valley of the Tagliamento, north of Venice, We find the 
Sclavonic village-names, gniva, stolvizza, and others, and the mountains 
POSGOST, STOLAC, and ZLEBAC. 2^eus8, Die Deutsclun, p. 617 ; Tjit^ftm^ 
Nat. of Europe, vol il p. 283; Biondelli, Studii lAnguistici, p. 55. 


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German Colonies South of the Alps. 51 

from their Italian neighbours, and who speak a German 
dialect more or less corrupt. The German-speaking 
villages are often surrounded by a penumbra of German 
local names, which prove that the little settlement must 
formerly have occupied a more extensive area than at 
present' It is difficult to say whether these intrusive 
populations did, at some remote period, cross the passes 
and take possession of the unoccupied Italian valleys, or 
whether they are fragments thrown off at the time of 
either the Bui^undian or the Lombardic invasions, and 
which the isolation of the mountain-valleys has pre- 
vented from becoming Italianized. In the case of the 
valleys of Macugnaga, Gressonay, Alagna, Sermenta, 
Pommat, and Sappada, we may, perhaps, incline to the 
former supposition; while with regard to the Sette 
Comuni, near Vicenza, and the Tredici Comuni, near 
Verona, which still retain their Lombard-German speech, 
the latter hypothesis may be the more probable." 

1 In some valleys the German language has become entirely extinct. In 
Omavasco, north of the Lago Maggiore, this has taken place within the 
memory of persons now living. Latham, Nat, of Eur, vol. ii. p. 283. 
The npper part of the Val d'Ayas is called Canton des Allemands, though 
no German is now spoken there. — See Schott, Die Deutscken am Monte 

« See Forbes, Alps, p. 330; Tour of Mont Blanc, p. 266 ; King, Italian 
Valleys^ p. 449; Latham, Nationalities of Europe, vol. ii. p. 282 ; Germania^ 
p. xl. ; Lewis, Romance Languages, p. 97 ; Bionddli, Studii Linguistici^ 
pp. 47 — ^54 ; Gilbert and Churchill, Dolomite Mountains, p. 379 ; Steub, 
Zur Rdtischen EthnoL pp. 56 — 65. On the valleys of Macugnaga, &c. see 
two capital monographs by Schott, Die Deutscken am Monte Rosa, and Die 
Deutscken Colonien in Piedmont, The best account of the Sette and 
Tredici Comuni is by Schmeller, Ueber die sogenannten Cimhem aufden 
Venediscken Alpen, Till the beginning of the present century they formed 
an independent republic. Schmeller, p. 563. They speak a Platt-deutsch 
dialect, and call themselves Cimbri. A peasant, if asked, will tell you, '* Ich 
pin an Cimbro." Schmeller, p. 565. Eustace, Classical Tour, voL i. p. 
142, and Crichton, Scandinavia, vol. i. p. 69, accept the local tradition 

K 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

5 2 Ethnological Valtie of Local Names. 

We shall proceed to fill up some portions of the out- 
line which has just been traced, and endeavour to 
decipher from the map of Europd the history of the con- 
quests and immigrations of some of the chief races that 
have succeeded one another upon the stage. 

which makes them the remains of the Cimbrian horde which was over- 
thrown by Marins in the neighbourhood of Verona. See Notes and 
Queries^ vol. i. p. 176 ; Biondelli, Studii Linguistici, p. 53 ; Amdt, Eur, 
Spr, p. 105. J. K. [enrick?], in Journal of Education, vol. vi p. 353, 
thinks they are the remains of German mercenaries. 


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Ethnic Names are of Obscure Origin. S3 



Ethnic Names are of obscure origin — Name of BritcUn^Many nations hear 
duplicate names-- Deutsche and Germans — " Barbarians ** — IVelsh — Gaels 
— Aryans — Names of conquering Tribes — Ancient Ethnic Names con- 
served in those of modern cities — Ethnic Names from rulers — From geo" 
graphiccU position — Europe — Asia — Africa — Ethnographic Names — 
" Warriors'*—" Mountaineers'*— "Lowlanderr''—*' Foresters"— " Coast- 
landers''— Greehs. 

The names borne by nations and countries are natu- 
rally of prime importance in all ethnological investi- 
gations. They are not lightly changed, they are often 
cherished for ages as a most precious patrimony, and 
therefore they stretch back far into the dim Past, 
thus affording a clue which may enable us to discover 
the obscure beginnings of separate national existence. 
But, unfortunately, few departments of etymology are 
beset with more difficulties, or are subject to greater 
uncertainties. Some of those ethnic names which have 
gained a wide application had at first a very restricted 
meaning, as in the case of ITALY or ASIA ; ^ others, like 
that of the Romans, may have arisen from special local 
circumstances, of which we can have only a conjectural 

1 See pp. 77, 87, infra ; and Newman, E^al Rome^ p. 6. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

54 The Nantes of Nations. 

or accidental knowledge ; ^ others, again, as in the case 
of LORRAINE,^ may be due to causes which, if history- 
be silent, the utmost etymological ingenuity is powerless 
to recover. It is only here and there, as in the case of 
ORIENTAL, or the ARGENTINE REPUBLIC,*^ that we find 
countries bearing names which have originated within 
the historic era, and the meaning of which is obvious. 
But the greater number of ethnic names are of great 
antiquity, and their elucidation has often to be sought 
in languages with which we possess only a fragmentary 
acquaintance. Frequently, indeed, it is very difficult — 
sometimes impossible — ^to discover even the language 
from which any given ethnic name has been derived. 

It is not needful to travel far for an illustration of the 
mode in which this difficulty presents itself — ^the name 
of our own country will supply us with an instance. 
The BRITISH people, the inhabitants of GREAT BRITAIN, 
are, we know, mainly of Teutonic blood, and they speak 
one of the Teutonic languages. None of these, how- 
ever, affords any assistance in the explanation of the 
name. We conclude, therefore, that the Teutonic colo- 
nists must have adopted an ethnic appellation belonging 
to the former inhabitants of the country. But the 
Celtic aborigines do not seem to have called themselves 

1 The name of Roma is periuips from the Groma^ or four cross-roads 
at the Forum, which formed the nucleus of the city. See Donaldson, 
VarronianuSf pp. 60, 270. Other plausible conjectures will be found in 
Curtius, Grundiuge, vol. iL p. 261 ; Mommsen, Hist, of Honu, vol i. 
p. 44 ; and Pott, Etym, Farsch» vol. ii. p. 2S4. 

■ See p. 74, infra. 

> Ecuador is the republic of the " Equator ; " the Banda Oriental occupies 
the ** eastern bank," and the Argentine Republic the western bank of the 
Rio dc la Plata, or River of the " Silver." 


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. Name of Britain. 55 

by the name of Britons, nor can any complete and satis- 
factory explanation of the name be discovered in any of 
the Celtic dialects. We turn next to the classic lan- 
guages, for we find, if we trace the literary history of 
the name, that its earliest occurrence is in the pages of 
Greek, and afterwards of Latin writers. The word, 
however, is utterly foreign both to the Greek and to 
the Latin speech. Finally, having vainly searched 
through all the languages spoken by the diverse races 
which, from time to time, have found a hon\e upon these 
shores — Shaving exhausted all the resources of Indo- 
European philology without the discovery of any 
available Aryan root, we turn, in despair, to the one 
remaining ancient language of western Europe. We 
then discover how great is the real historical significance 
of our inquiry, for the result shows that the first chapter 
of the history of our island is in reality written in its 
name — ^we find that this name is derived from that 
family of languages of which the Lapp and the Basque 
are the sole living representatives ; and hence, we rea- 
sonably infer that the earliest knowledge of the island, 
which was possessed by any of the civilized inhabitants 
of Europe, must have been derived from the Iberic 
mariners of Spain,^ who either in their own ships, or in 
those of their Punic masters, coasted along to Brittany, 
and thence crossed to Britain, at some dim pre-historic 
period. The name Bx-itan-'i^, contains, it would seem, 
the Euskarian suffix etan, which is used to signify a 
district or country.* We find this suffix in the names of 

1 Niebnhr, JJist. Rome^ vol. ii. p. 522 ; Arnold, Hist, Rome^ vol. u 
p. 489. 

* This is the explanation usually given, but it would be more correct to 
saj that etan is the plural of an^ the suffixed locative preposition, or sign of 
the locative case. See Boudard, Numaiis, Ibhr, pp. 94, 93 ; and a tract by 


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$6 The Names of Nations. 

many of the districts known to, or occupied by the 
Iberic race. It occurs in Ko^-itanAsL, or Aquitaine, in 
Lus-z/^^-ia, the ancient name of Portugal, in Maur- 
etan-vdiy the '* country of the Moors," as well as in the 
names of very many of the tribes of ancient Spain, 
such as the Qtxr-etanAy Aus-etan-i, "Lal-etan-i, Cos-etan-i, 
Yesc-itan-i, Lac-^/^«-i, Carp-etanA, Ov-etan-iy Bast-//a»-i, 
TwrA-etan-i, Suess-^/a«-i, Ed-etan-i, and others. 

This illustration not only indicates the value of the 
results which may accrue from the investigation of ethnic 
names, but it will also serve to show how difficult it may 
often be to determine even the language from which the 
explanation must be sought. 

In attempting to lay down general principles to guide 
us in our investigations, we have in the first place to deal 
with the remarkable phenomenon — an instance of which 
has just presented itself — that the greater number of 
ethnic names are only to be explained from languages 
which are not spoken by the people to whom the name 
applies. Most nations have, in fact, two, or even a 
greater number of appellations.^ One name, by which 
the nation calls itself, is used only within the limits of 
the country itself; the other, or cosmopolitan name, is 
that by which it is known to neighbouring tribes. 

the same writer Sur un suffixe Ibhun^ in the Revue ArcfUologiqtUy xi. 
pp. 562 — 567 ; Adelung's MithridateSf vol. ii. p. 26. The first syllable, bro, 
briy or brii, is possibly Iberic, or more probably it may be a Celtic glosa 
(Brezonec, brot a country, which appears in the name of the AUo^^-ges), 
to which the Iberic etan was appended. Humboldt, Priifung der Unier- 
suchungm^ pp. 62, 63, 143 ; Prichard, Researches^ voL iil p. 28 ; Philoiog. 
TtansactionSf vol. i. p. 176 j Pott, EtymoL Forschung, vol. ii. pp. 42, 582 ; 
Renan, Lang, Sitnit, p. 203 ; Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman 
Geogr, 8. v. Britannicse Insulae, voL i p. 434. Cf. Diefenbach, CelHca^ IL 
pp. 59 — 63; De Belloguet, Ethnog, vol. i. p. 251. 
I See Mahn, Nam, Preuss, pp. 4, 8 ; Verstegan, Restitution^ p. 46. 


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Most Nutions bear Duplicate Names. $7 

Thus, the people of England call themselves the En- 
glish, while the Welsh, the Bretons, the Gaels of Scotland, 
the Irish, and the Manxmen, respectively, call us Saeson, 
Saoz, Sasunnaich, and Sagsonach.^ The natives of Wales 
do not call themselves the Welsh, but the Cymry. The 
people to the east of the Rhine call themselves Deutsche, 
the French call them Allemands, we call them Germans, 
the Sclavonians call them Niemiec, the Magyars call them 
Schwabe, the Fins call them Saksalainen, the Gipsies call 
them Ssasso.^ The people whom we call the Dutch call 
themselves Nederlanders, while the Germans call them 
Hollanders. The Lapps call themselves Sabme, the Fins 
call themselves Quains. Those whom we call Bohemians 
call themselves Czechs. The Germans call the Sclavo- 
nians, Wends, but no Sclavonian knows himself by this 


The origin of these double names is often to be ex- 
plained by means of a very simple consideration. Among 
kindred tribes, in a rude state of ci\dIization, the concep- 
tion of national Unity is of late growth. But it would 
be natural for all those who were able to make them- 
selves mutually intelligible, to call themselves collectively 
" The Speakers," or ** The People," while they would call 

^ See Grimm, GeschichU der Deut, Sprache^ voL il p. 658 ; SouTestre, 
JDemurs Britons^ voL i. p. 219. 

s This name affords a curious piece of evidence as to the road by which 
the gipsies entered Europe. It would seem that the first German people 
which became known to them must have been the Saxon colony in Tran- 
sylvania. See Pott, DU Zigmner in Europa und Asietty vol. i. p. 53. 
Another indication that the gipsies immigrated by the valley of the Danube, 
is the name Romani, by which they call themselves. This is the enchorial 
appellation of the Wallachians, among whom, therefore, it would appear 
that the gipsies must have been domiciled. See, however, Pott, Indo- 
Germ, Sprach. p. 42; Adelung, MithridateSy vol. i. p. 237. 

s Adelung, MUhridates^ vol. ii. p. 655. 


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58 The Natnes of Nations. 

those neighbouring races, whose language they could not 
understand, by some word meaning in their own language 
"The Jabberers," or "The Strangers." ^ 

A very large number of ethnic names can be thus ex- 

The Sclavonians call themselves' either SLOWJANE, 
" the intelligible mfen," or else SRB, which means " Kins- 
men," while the Germans call them WENDS, which means 
" Wanderers," or " Strangers." 

The Basques call themselves the EUSCALDUNAC,' 
"Those who have speech." The LELEGES are "The 
Speakers," * the SABiEANS are the " Men," and the name 
of SHEBA or SEBA is referable to the same root* All the 
Sclavonic nations call the Germans NIEMIEC,* **the dumb 

1 See a paper by J. K. [enrick], On the Names of the Ante-Hellenic 
Inhabitants of Greece^ inthe Philolo^. Museum, vol. i. pp. 609 — 627; Amdt, 
JEur, S/r. pp. 251, 303 ; Strinnholm, Wikin£[2iige, p. 284 ; Renan, Origine 
du Langage, p. iSo. 

• Schafarik, Slawische Alterthiimer, vol. i. p. 180; vol. ii p. 42; 
Arndt, Eur, Spr, p. 93; Zeuss, Deutschen, p. 68; Pott, Etym, Forsch, 
voL ii. p. 521; Indo-Germ, Spr. p. 107; Adelnng, Directorio fur Sud- 
Sach, Spr, quoted in Mithridates, voL il p. 612. 

' From euscara, speech ; dunac, those who have. Mahn, Namen Preuss. 
p. 9 ; Adelung, Mithridates, voL iL p. 12 ; Humboldt, Priifung, p. 57. 

• Philological Museum, vol. i. p. 616. 

■ The Getes or Goths are, perhaps, the "kinsmen." Pictet, Orig, 
Indo-Eur. pt L p. 84. The names of the Achseans, the Sacse, and the 
Saxons may be of kindred meaning. See Gladstone, Homer, vol i p. 558. 
Gltick thmks the Cymry are the "people. " Kelt, Namen, p. 26. The Samo- 
jedes call themselves Chasowo, the " men." Muller, Ugr. Volks, vol i. 
p. 313 ; Amdt, Eur, Spr, pp. 247, 326. 

• Strictly speaking, they are called Niemiec by the Poles, Nemec by the 
Bohemians and Bulgarians, Njemc by the Lusatians, and Njemetz by the 
Russians. Grimm, Gesch, der DeuL Spr, p. 780; Leo, in Kuhn*s Zeiischrift^ 
vol il p. 258 ; Max Miiller, Lectures, p. 83 ; Pott, Etym, Forsch, voL iL 
p. $21; Schafarik, Slaw, Alt, vol. i. p. 443; Zeuss, Deutschen, p. 68. 
The Gipsies call the Lithuanians, Lalerri, " The dumb." Pott, art. Ind^ 
Germanischer Sprackstamm, in Ersch and Gruber, p. 44. 


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Deutsche — Allemands — Germans. 59 

men.^* The earliest name by which the Germans desig- 
nated themselves seems to have been TUNGRI,^ "Those who 
have tongues," the "Speakers." This name was succeeded 
by the term DEUTSCHE,* "the People," "the Nation," a 
name which still holds its ground. We have borrowed 
this national appellation of the Germans, but curiously 
enough we have limited its use to that portion of the 
Teutonic race on which the Germans themselves have 
bestowed another name.' 

But while the Germans call themselves " The People," 
the name given to them by the French means "The 
Foreigners." The French word ALLEMAND is modern- 
ized from the name of the Alemanni, the ancient frontier 
tribe between Germania and Gaul. The Alemanni seem 
to have been a mixed race — partly Celtic, partly Teu- 
tonic, in blood. The name is itself Teutonic, and pro- 

^ Tacitus, Germaniay cap. 2 : Grimm, Gesch, der Dettt, Spr, p. 788 ; 
Donaldson, EngUsh Ethnog, p. 38; Mahn, Namen Preuss, p. 9. The 
QUADI are the speakers. Cf. the Sanskrit, wady to speak, and the Anglo- 
Saxon cwediy and Welsh ckwed^ speech. So the jazyges derived their name 
from the Sclavonic word/eiM(, the tongue. 

' The form in which this name first appears suggested to Von Hammer 
the possibility that it niight have been fonned by the conjunction of the 
definite article and the root of the German vror^Leuiey people— the Roman 
laii. This Pott rightly pronounces to be '' vollig unhaltbar," Eiym. Forsch, 
voL il p. 518. Dr. Donaldson derives the name of the Letts, Lithuanians, 
and even of the Latins from the same root Donaldson, Varronianus^ 
p. 62. See, however, p. 85, infra. On the etymology of the word Deutsche, 
see Grimm, Gesch, derDmL Spr, pp. 789, seq. ; Leo, in Kuhn's Zatschrift^ 
▼oL iL pp. 255 — 257 : Leo, Vorlesungen, vol. i p. 192 ; Leo, Rectitudinesy 
p. 137 ; Diefenbach, VergleUh, Wbrterb, vol. il pp. 705 — 708 ; Zeuss, Die 
Deutsckitty pp. 63, 64 ; Latham, English Language^ vol i. pp. 289—297 ; 
Miiller, Marken^ pp. 218 — 230; Pott, Eiym, Forsch, vol ii. p. 521 ; Indfh 
Germ, Spr, p. 95 ; Bergmann, Les Giies, pp. 74, 75. 

* It seems to have been only in the seventeenth century that the applica- 
tion of the word dutch was restricted to the Low Germans. See Arch- 
bishop Trench, Glossary ^ p. 65. 


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6o The Names of Natiofis. 

bably means " Other Men " or " Foreigners/' and thus, 
curiously enough, the French name for the whole German 
people has been derived from a tribe whose very name 
indicates that its claims to Teutonic blood were disowned 
by the rest of the German Tribes.^ 

The English name for the same nation has been 
adopted from the Latin term, GERMANIA. It must have 
been from the Celts of Gaul that the Romans obtained 
this word, which seems foreign to all the Teutonic lan- 
gfuages. The etymology has been fiercely battled over ; 
the most reasonable derivation is, perhaps, that suggested 
by Professor Leo, from the Gaelic gaimtean, one who 
cries out,* and the name either alludes to the fierce war- 
cry of the Teutonic hordes, or more probably it expresses 
the wonder with which the Celts of Gaul listened to the 
unintelligible clash of the harsh German gutturals. 

The Russians call the contiguous Ugrian tribes by 
the name TSCHUDES, a Slavonic word which means 

> The al in Alemanni is probably, the a/ in oTms and v^/satia, or the el 
in //se and ^/sass, not the al in all. Thus the Alemanni are the " other 
men," not the "all men" or "mixed men," as is usually supposed. 
Compare the a/ in Allobroges. Latham, Germania^ Epileg. p. liii. ; Pott, 
Etymolog, Forsch, vol. iL pp. 523—526; Zeuss, 'Die Deutschen^ p. 318; 
Forstemann, Ortsnamen, p. 132 ; Menage, Origines^ pp. 27, 31 ; Diefen- 
bach, CelHca^ i. p. 17; Orig, Eur. p. 224; Gliick, Kelt, Namen^ p. 26; 
Smith, Diet, of Geography ^ art. Germania ; Latham, Nationalities of Europe^ 
vol. iL p. 322; Leo, Vorlesungen^ vol i. p. 245; Miiller, Afor>6wf, pp. 213, 
216; Bos worth, Origin^ p. 120. 

• See Leo, in Haupt*s Zeitschrift^ vol. v, p. 5x4 ; Smith, Diction. ofGeogr^ 
vol i. p. 993 ; Grimm, Gesch. der Deui, Spr. pp. 785—788 ; Gladstone, 
Horner^ vol i. p. 554 ; Latham, English Language^ vol. i. pp. 286 — 289 ; 
Bosworth, Origin^ p. 12; Bergmann, Gites, pp. 76—79; Mahn, Nam. 
Preuss, p. I; Forbiger, Alt, Geogr. vol. iii. pp. 3x4, 315; Keferstein, 
Kelt. Alt, vol. i, pp. xxiL, 293; vol. ii. p. 366; Radlof, Neue Untersuch, 
pp. 241 — 255 ; Amdt, Eur. Spr. p. 1 14. Dr. Latham refeis the word 
German to Uie Turkish Kerman^ a castle 1 Nat, of Europe^ vol. ii. 
p. 215. 


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Barbarians. 6i 

"Strangers" or "Barbarians."^ The PHILISTINES are, 
probably, the " Strangers " * and if this be the true mean- 
ing of the name, it strengthens the supposition that this 
warlike people arrived in Palestine by sea, probably from 
Crete,* during the anarchic period which succeeded to the 
Israelitish conquest under Joshua, The names of the 
African and Asiatic KAFFIRS, of the PERIZZITES, of the 
lONlANS,* and of the FLEMINGS are also nearly identical 
in meaning with those of the Philistines, Allemands, and 
Tschudes.* The word Barbarian was applied by the 
Egyptians, and afterwards by the Greeks and Romans, 
to all who did not speak their own language.* The 
root barbar may be traced to the Sanskrit varvara, " a 
foreigner," or ** one who speaks confusedly," and, accord- 
ing to the opinion of the best scholars, it is undoubtedly 
onomatopoeian.^ So also in the case of the HOTT-EN- 

1 Prichard, Researches^ voL UL p. 273 ; Miiller, Marken des VaterL vol. i. 
p. 219 ; Latham, Nat. of Europe^ vol. i. p. l6i ; Amdt, Eur, Spr, p. 323. 

* Knobel, Vblkertafd^ p. 218; Stanley, Sinai and Palest, p. 256; 
Movers, Phonizien^ in Ersch und Gruber, p. 327. 

* I am inclined to regard this emigration from Crete as a result of the 
Dorian conquest of that island. The two events seem to have been syn- 
chronous, or nearly so. Compare Bochart, vol. iii. p. 422, with MiiUer's 
Dorians^ vol, i. p. 494; Hoeck, Kreta^ vol. ii. pp. 16, 368, 417, seq, ; 
Stanley, Jewish Church, p. 287 ; Movers, Die Phonixier, part L pp. 4, 27 ; 
and part ii. vol. ii. p. 254; Renan, Lat^, SimU, p. 54 ; Ewald, Volk, Isr. 
voL i. p. 292. 

< See p. 87, infra, 

* Pott, EtynioL Forschungen, voL IL p. 527 ; Renan, Langues Shniiiques, 
pt i. pp. 30, no; Miiller, Marken^ voL i. pp. 159, 210; Knobel, Volker- 
ta/el, pp. 169, 177 ; Movers, Phonizier, vol. ii. pt. L p. 12 ; Phbnisaen, in 
Ersch und Gruber, p. 328. Flemd, the root of Fleming, means fugitive. 
De Smet, Noms, p. la 

* Holzapfel, in Hofer's Zeitschrift^ voL iv. p. 240; Kenrick, Ancient 
Egypt, vol. ii. p. 248. 

^ Pictet, Origines IndO'EuropSennes, pt. i. pp. 57, 55 ; Curtius, GrundzUge 
der Griech, Etym. vol. L p. 255 ; Weber, Indische Shiaen, p. 9 ; Renan, 


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62 The Names of Nations. 

TOTS we find a name which is supposed to have been 
given by the Dutch in imitation of the characteristic click 
of the Hottentot language, which sounds like a repetition 
of the sounds hot and toty 

Few Ethnic names are more interesting than that of 
the WELSH. The root enters into a very large number of 
the Ethnic names of Europe, and is, perhaps, ultimately 
onomatopoeian. It has been referred to the Sanskrit 
mlicky which denotes "a person who talks indistinctly," — 
"a jabberer." 2 The root appears in German, in the 
form U)al, which means anything that is " Foreign " or 
"strange." Hence we obtain the German words trailer* 
a stranger or pilgrim, and toaOen to wander, or to move 
about. A walnut is the " foreign nut," and in Grerman a 
turkey is called SBaldc^e ^a^n, " the foreign fowl," and a 
French bean is aBdftc^e bo^ne, the " foreign bean." All 
nations of Teutonic blood have called the bordering 

Langues Shniliques, pt. i. p. 35 ; Orig, du Lang. p. 178 ; Lassen, Ind, Alt. 
vol. i. p. 855 ; Miiller, Marken^ p. 185 ; Philohg. Museum, voL i. p. 611 ; 
Max Miiller, in Kuhn*s ZeUschrift, vol. v. pp. 141, 142. 

^ Farrar, Origin of Langucigey p. 76. Compare the onomatopoeian name 
of the ZAMZUMMIN, the Aborigines of Palestine. Renan, Lang* Shn. 
p. 35; Orig. duLang, p. 1 17. 

• The Sanskrit m often becomes w in Gothic ; thus, from mleU, to fade, 
we have vlacian, to flag, wclktn, to wither, and the name of the soft moUosk 
called a whelk. According to this phonetic law, from the Sanskrit mlick 
we obtain the German wlack, walachj and Wialch. See an Essay on Walk^n 
und Deutsche, by Professor Leo, in Kuhn's Zeitschrifi, voL ii. pp. 252 — 255 ; 
Pictet, Orig, Indo-Euro, pt i. p. 57 ; Renan, Lang, Shnit, part I p. 3S ; 
Orig, du Lang. pp. 178, 179; Lassen, Ind. Alt, voi. L p. 855; Leo, 
Vorlesungen, vol. i. p. 43. 

• The word waller, a pilgrim, no longer survives in English except as a 
surname ; but we retain the derivative, wallet, a pilgrim^s equipage. It may 
be noted ihtX perigrinare and pilgrim are filially connected in the same way 
as wallen and waller. With wallen, to wander, are connected the words 
to walk, and to valu or waltz, Diefenbach, Vergl. Worterb, vol. i. pp. 
189, 181. 


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WelsJL 63 

tribes by the name of SdMc^e, that is, Welshmen, or 
"foreigners." We trace this name around the whole 
circuit of the region of Teutonic occupancy. SBartc^Ianb, 
the German name of Italy, has occasioned certain incom- 
prehensible historical statements relating to Wales, in a 
recent translation of a German work on mediaeval history. 
The Bernese Oberlander calls the French-speaking dis- 
trict to the south of him, by the name of Canton WALLlS, 
or Wales, wallenstadt and the wallensee are on 
the frontier of the Romansch district of the Chur-walcAen, 
or men of the Grisons.^ The Sclaves and Germans called 
the Bulgarians Wlochi or Wolochi,* and the district which 
they occupied WALLACHIA ; and the Celts of Flanders, 
and of the Isle of WALCHEREN, were called WALLOONS * 
by their Teutonic neighbours. North-western France is 
called VALLAND in the Sagas,* and in the Saxon 
Chronicle WEALAND denotes the Celtic district of Armo- 
rica- The Anglo-Saxons called their Celtic neighbours 
the WELSH, and the country by the name of WALES.* 
Cornwall was formerly written Comwales, the country 
inhabited by the Welsh of the Horn. The chroniclers 
uniformly speak of North-Wales and Corn-Wales. In 
the charters of the Scoto-Saxon kings the Celtic Picts of 
Strath Clyde are called Walenses. 

^ They are called Walisenses in the Chronicles. Schott, Deui. Col. p. 206. 

' Compare the Polish Wlochy an Italian, and the Slowenian Vlahy a Wal- 
lachian. From the same Sanskrit root we have the name of the beloochs 
or Wdsh of India. Pott, Indo-Germ. Spr, p. 48; Adelung, MUhridates^ 
ToL ii. p. 641 ; Leo, in Kuhn^s Zeitsckrifi^ vol. iL p. 255. 

s Tho name of the Belgae, a Cymric tribe, seems to have been given them 
by the Gaels, whom they displaced. Cf. the Erse, Fir-bolg^ ''intruding 

^ Laing, ffdmskringla, vol. L p. 293. 

* Strictly speaking, Wales is a corruption of IVealhas^ the plural of 
vfeaihy a Welshman or foreigner. 


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64 The Names of Nations. 

Entangled with this root wal^ we have the root gat. 
The Teutonic w and the Celtic and Romance g are 
convertible letters. Thus the French Gualtier and 
Guillaume are the same as the English Walter and 
William. So also guerre and war, garde and warde, 
guise and wise, guile and wile, gaif and waif, gaude 
and woad, gaufre and wafer, garenne and warren, 
gault and weald, guarantee and warranty, are severally 
the French and English forms of the same words.^ 
By a similar change the root wal is transformed to gal. 
The Prince of Wales is called in French " le Prince de 
Galles." Wales is the " pays de Galles," and Cornwall 
is Cornuailles, a name which was also given to the 
opposite peninsula of Brittany. CALAIS was anciently 
written indifferently Galeys or Waleys ; and the name, 
as will be shown elsewhere, most appropriately indi- 
cates the existence of the remnant of a Celtic people 
surrounded by a cordon of Teutonic settlers. 

This convertibility of the roots gal and wal is a source 
of much confusion and difficulty ; for it appears probable 
ihsitgal may also be an independent Celtic root,^ entirely 
unconnected with the Teutonic wal ; for while the Welsh 
of Wales or Italy never called themselves by this name, 
it appears to have been used as a national appellation 

1 Cf. Philolog. Proceed, vol. i p. io8 ; Knapp, English Roots, p. 8 ; 
Verstegan, Restitutum, pp. i66^ 363 ; Max Mtiller, Lectures^ 2nd series, 
p. 265. 

s No satisfactory explanation from Celtic sources has, I believe, been 
offered. Possibly it may mean the "west." See Mone, Cdtisclu For- 
sckungen, p. 326. Pott derives it from gtodi, the "cultivated country." 
£tym. Forsch, vol. il p. 531. Zeuss thinks it means the "warriors." Die 
Deutschefty p. 65. Dr. Meyer prefers the cognate signification of "clans- 
men." Report^ Brit. Assoc, for 1847, P- 30^ 5 Bunsen, PAH. of Univ. Hist. 
vol. 1. p. 145. CELT is of course only the Greek form oigad ox gallus. 


by Google 

Gaels. 6$ 

by the GAELS of CVi/edonia^ and the GAULS of Galliz, 
GalvfdiY, Done^tf/, Galloyf3.y, and hxgyle are all Gaelic 
districts ; and GOELLO is one of the most thoroughly- 
Celtic portions of Brittany. The inhabitants of Gal\\c\z, 
and Portu^^/ possess more Celtic blood than those 
who inhabit any other portion of the Peninsula. The 
Austrian province of Galitz or Ga/idB, is now Sclavonic, 
and the name, as well as that of Wallachia, is probably 
to be referred to the German root wal, foreign ; though 
it is far from impossible that one or both of these names 
may indicate settlements of the fragments of the Gaelic 
horde which in the third century before Christ pillaged 
Rome and Delphi, and finally, crossing into Asia, settled 
in and gave a name to that district of Ga/atia, whose 
inhabitants, even in the time of St. Paul, retained so 
many characteristic features of their Celtic origin.^ 

So interlaced are these primeval roots that it is almost 
hopeless to attempt to disentangle them.^ 

1 This word possibly contains the root ^o^/. If so, the Caledonians 
would be the Gaels of the duns or hills. The usual etymology is from 
caHdooirUj the ''men of the woods." See^Diefenbach, Celtica^ ii. part i. p. 14 ; 
CambrO'Briton^ voL L pp. 48, 373 ; vol. iii pp. 397, 399 ; Thierry, HisL 
Gaui, vol. i. pp. xxix. xxxv ; Chalmers, Caledonia^ vol. I p. 200. 

* GALATA, near Constantinople, is regarded by Diefenbach as a vestige 
of the passage of the Galatian horde. Cdtica^ ii. part i. p. 7. It seems 
more probable that this name is Semitic, and should be classed with KELAT 
in Beloochistan, alcala in Spain, and calata in Sicily. See Chapter VI. 

> On the roots gal and wal, see Zeuss, Die Deuischen und die Nach' 
harstdmme^ pp. 66, 576; Diefenbach, Cdiica, ii. part ii. pp. 127, 128; 
Diefenbach, Vergieieh, Worterb. vol L pp. 180, 181 ; Guest, on Gentile 
Namei^ in Philolog. Proc. voL i. p. 105 ; MUller, Die Marken des VaterL 
voL L pp. 194 — 203 ; Prichard, Eastern Origin of the Celtic Nations^ pp. 
* 104— 1 10 ; Latham, English Language^ vol. L p. cv ; Latham, Gennania^ 
pp. 83, 98 ; Nat. of Europe^ vol. ii pp. 192, 387 ; Conybeare and Howson, 
Life of St. Pauly vol i. p. 284; Arnold, Hist, of Rome^ vol. i. p. 520 ; 
Yonge, Christian Names ^ voL ii. p. 9 ; Chamock, Local Etymol. p. 291 ; 
Basil Jones, in Archctologia Cambrensisy 3rd series, voL iv. pp. 127 — 132 ; 



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66 The Names of Nations. 

Another root which is very frequently found in the 
names of nations is ar. This ancient word, which enters 
very extensively into the vocabularies of all the Indo- 
Germanic races, seems primarily to have referred to the 
occupation of agriculture. The verb used to express the 
operation of ploughing is in Greek op(ia>, in Latin arOf 
in Gothic /^rjan, in Polish (?rac, in old High German 
a/an, in Irish a:raim, and in Old English ear. Thus we 
read in our version of the Bible, " The oxen . . . that 
ear the ground shall eat clean provender." ^ A plough is 
aporpov in Greek, ^zfatrum in Latin, ^rdr in Norse, and 
araid in Welsh ; and the English harrow was originally a 
rude instrument of the same kind. The Greek Apovpc^ 
the Latin ^^vum, and the Polish (?racz'mean a field, 
or ariblt ground, yiroma was the an>matic smell of 
freshly ploughed land ; while apro^ and harvest reward 
the ploughman's labour. The Sanscrit /r4, the Greek 
Ipa, the Gothic airthaL, and their English representative, 
earth, is that which is eared or ploughed.^ 

Lord Lindsay, Progression by Antagonism^ p. 62 ; Rawlinson, Herodotus^ 
voL iii. p. 190; Verst^ran, Restitution^ pp. 46, 166, 167; Pott, Etvm, 
Forsch, vol ii. p. 529 ; Indo-Germ. Spr. p. 91 ; Saturday Revitw^ April 
nth, 1863 ; Amdt, Eur, Spr. p. 253 ; Schafarik, Slaw, Alt, vol. i. p. 377 ; 
Bp. Thirlwall, in Philolog. Trans, for 1860-1, pp. 199—203 ; and Holzapfd, 
in Hofer*s Zeitschrift, vol. iv. p. 240, who quotes a work which I have not 
been able to procure— Maasmann, Deutsck und Wdsch, Miinchen, 1843. 
Niebuhr, in his Lectures on Ethnology and Geography^ vol. iL p. 308, holds 
the untenable opinion that the Cdtic national appellation is the rxwt of 
the German ««/, and that the Germans took the name of some contiguons 
Gaelic tribe as a general term for foreigner. See p. 62, supra, 

1 Isaiah xxx. 24. So the two great operations of ploughing and reaping^ 
are called "earing and harvest,** Gen. xlv. 6 ; Ex. xxxiv. 21. 

' Scores of related words might be collected from the Romance, Celtic, 
Sclavonic, and Gothic languages. Tilled land being the chief kind of pro- 
perty, we have the Gothic arbi, an inhmtance. Since ploughing was the 
chief eamisX. occupation practised at an early stage of dvilixation, the root 


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Aryans, 6j 

The Sanskrit word arya means an agriculturist, a pos- 
sessor of landy^or a householder generally ; hence it came 
to denote any one belonging to the dominant race^ — 
the aristocracy of landowners — ^as distinguished from 
the subject tribes ; and at length it began to be used as 
an ethnic designation, corresponding to some extent with 
the word bfutfc^, as used by the Germans.* 

The name of this conquering ARYAN race, which has 
gone forth to till the earth and to subdue it, is probably 
to be found in the names of IRAN,* HERAT, ARAL, 
ARMENIA, and, perhaps, of ib-er-ia, Ireland, and 

comes to take the general signification of any kind of work. Hence the 
Greek ifjop, the Latin ars, the German arbeit, the English errand ; all of 
which deserve Aimings and eame&t money. It would not be difficult to trace 
the connexion of the Greek 4p-tTfths, rpt-ifp-iis and ^-fip-irriSf the Latin 
remns, the English oar, the Sanskrit di/itra, a ship, as well as of urbs and 
crbis. On the meaning and ramifications of the root ar, see Diefenbach, 
VergUich, Wbrterb, vol. L pp. 65, 70; Diefenbach, Celtica, i. pp. Ii— 13; 
Grimm, G€sch. der Deut, Spr, vol. i. pp. 54,, 55, 68 ; Kuhn, Zur altesU 
Gtsch, pp. 12, 13 ; Pictet, Origines Indo-Europ. part il pp. 28 — ^31, 67, 
7Sf 78, 88, 123, 183—185 ; Curtius, Gfundxiige der Griech, Etym, vol. i. 
pp. 306—308 ; Prichard, Rep, Brit Assoc, for 1847, p. 242 ; Lassen, Ind, 
Alt. vol L pp. 5 — 8; Pott, U^er alt-persische Eigennamen in the Zeitschrift 
dir Morgenl, Gesdlschaft, vol. xiii. p. 374 ; Church of England Quarterly^ 
*M>- 73» P- 139 ; Mommsen, Inhabitants of Italy ^ pp. 16, 17 ; Renan, Lang, 
Shnit. p. 14 ; Pott, Indo-Germ, Sprach. p. 46 ; Max Miiller, Lectures on 
Science of Language, pp. 237 — ^257 ; Amdt, Eur. Spr. p. 158 ; Phil. Tram, 
for 1857, p. 55 ; Edinburgh Review, voL xdv. pp. 315, 316 ; Zeitschrift 
d* Morgeni, Gesdlschaft, vol. iil p. 284. 

^ The profession of arm& being engrossed by the ruling race has caused 
the root, if indeed it be the same, to enter into a number of military terms 
— army, armour, arms, harness, hero, *'A^r. Curtius and Pictet, however, 
think these words are of independent origin. 

* Leo, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. ii. p. 257. 

* In the cuneiform inscriptions the Medes and Persians claim proudly 
to be Aryans, and Darius styles hunself an Aiya of the Aryans, The 
Oasetes in the Caucasus call themselves iron. The name German may 
perhaps be referred to this root. Compare the names Ar-iovistus, Ar-minius, 

F 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

68 The Names of Nations. 

ERIN. In languages which belong to the Teutonic 
branch of the Aryan stock, we find the root in the form 
ware^ inhabitants. Burgh^fs are those who inhabit 
towns, and a skipp^ is one who lives in a ship, as may 
be seen by tracing the words back to the Anglo-Saxon 
burhvarey citizens, and the old Norse skipveri, a sailor.* 
The word ware enters into the names of a great number 
of German tribes. It is Latinized into the forms uari, 
oari, and dart; and the w is sometimes changed into a^, 
in accordance with a phonetic law which has been already 
illustrated. Among the peoples of Central Europe are 
found the Ing-uari-i, the Rip-uari-i, the Chsis-uari-i, the 
CYizXt'tmriA, the Att-uariA, the Angri-z/an-i, and the 
Ansi-^^n-i. The name of the Boio-^zfi-i is preserved in 
the modem name of BA-VARI-A, the land of the Boii. 
The BULG-ARI-ANS Were the men from the Bolg, or 
Volga, on the banks of which river there is another, or 
Great Bulgaria.^ King Alfred speaks of the Moravians 
under the name ^A^xvaro, the dwellers on the river 
Marus or Morava.* Hun-^a:rr-a, or HUNGARY, is the 
land formerly peopled by the Huns; and the name 

1 On the root ware, see IZeoss, Die Deutschen, p. 367 ; Herkunft der 
Baiem^ pp. 5—^11 ; Forstemanxi, Ortsnamm^Y?' ^^ ^97 \ Grimn), Gesck, 
der Deut. Spr. p. 781 ; Mone, Celt. Forsch, p. 245 ; Muller, Markem des 
Vaterlandes^ vol. L p. 108 ; Philological Proceedings^ vol. L p. 10 ; Scha- 
farik. Slaw, Alt, vol. i. p. 367. Compare the Sanskrit vtra^ the Latin vir^ 
the Celtic jit/r and ^r, the Gothic vairs^ and the Spanish varon^ all which 
denote a man. From the low Latin, baro^ a male, comes banm^ and 
perhaps the Scotch bairn, Pictet, Or, Indo-Euro. part ii. p. 196 ; Diez, 
Cram, Rom. Spr. vol. L p. 26 ; GlUck, Kelt. Namen^ p. loa 

" Grimm, Gesch, der Deut. Spr. p. 781 ; Miiller, Marken^ vol. i. p. 19a. 
The Prussian land«v^r is the levy en masse of the whole population, and 
not the landguard^ as is commonly suppoted. 

• Adelung, Mithridates, vol. iL p. 641; Prichard, Researches^ voL iv. 
p. 32. 

* Zeuss, Die Deutschen^ p. 639. 


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The Suffixes " ware " and " setV 69' 

survives, though the Huns have been long dispossessed 
by Magyars and Sclavonians. wor-CESTER is a cor- 
ruption of Hwic-«/a:fw-ceaster, the castle of the inhabi- 
tants pf the country of the Huiccii. The men of Kent 
were the Q^XiXrware; and though this term is obsolete, 
it survives in the name of their chief town, ZzxiXrwara- 
byrig, or CANT-^r-BURY, *' the burgh of the men of the 
headland," while the ordinary signature of the primate, 
Q^xArtiar} exhibits the Saxon root ware in a prominent 
form. CAR-ISBROOK, in the Isle of Wight, is a name 
closely analogous to Canterbury. Asser writes the word 
Gwiti-^ar/^-burg, " the burgh of the men of Wight" It 
will easily be seen how the omission of the first part of 
the name, and the corruption of the last part, have 
reduced it to its present form. 

Another of these widely diffused roots is scetan, j^/tlers, 
or inhabitants, and scete or setna^ the seat or place in- 

ALra/ia, ALSACE, or ELSASS, is the " other seat," the 
abode of the German settlors west of the Rhine, a dis- 
trict where, as we have seen, the names of places are still 
purely German. HOLSTEIN is a corruption of the dative 
case of Holt-sati, the "forest abode."* From the same 
root we get Somerset and 'Dorset. It would appear that 
the / in Wil-/-shire is also due to this root, since the 
men of Wiltshire are called in the Saxon chronicle Wil- 
saetan, just as the men of Somerset and Dorset are called 

1 That is, Episcopus Cantuaiensis. See Latham, Eng. Lan, vol. i. 
p. 143 ; Miiller, Marken, vol L p. 192 ; Wright, Wanderings^ p. 72 ; 
Guest, in Philolog. Proceed, vol. i. p. 10. 

^ Cf. the verbs to sit^ sUseny sedere. See Leo, RecHtudines^ p. 48. On 
xflf, see Guest on Gentile Names, in PkH. Proc. voL i. pp. 105, 107. 

' Forstemann, in Kuhn's Zeitschrifty vol. i. p. 10 ; Ortsnameny p. 105; 
Miiller, Marken des VaUrL voL L p. 121. 


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70 TJu Names of Nations. 

Sumorsaetan and Dornsaetan.^ We have also Pecsaetan, 
men of the Peak (Derbyshire) ; Scrobsaetan, the men of 
Shropshire or Scrubland ; Ciltemsaetan, the men of the 
Chiltems ; and Wocensaetan, the people of the Wrekin 
or hill-country of Exmoor.* 

Conquering tribes, numerically insignificant, when com- 
pared with the other elements of the population, have 
not unfrequently bestowed their names upon extensive 
regions. ENGLAND, for instance, takes its name from 
the Angles, who only colonized a small portion of the 
country. In the case of SCOTLAND, we may believe that 
the Angles, the Norwegians, and the Cymric Celts 
severally constituted a larger element in the population 
than the Scots, yet this conquering Irish sept, which ap- 
pears to have actually colonized only a portion of Argyle, 
has succeeded in bestowing its name upon the whole 
country. FRANCE takes its name from the Franks, a 
small German tribe' which effected a very imperfect 
colonization of a portion of central France : the whole of 
Picardy, Normandy, Brittany, Burgundy, Languedoc, 
Guienne, and Gascony being excluded from their in- 

I Kemble, Saxons in England^ vol. i. p. 78; Seucon Chron, A.D. 800 
and 878. 

' Kemble, Saxons^ vol. i. p. 83. 

' The mixed multitude of Greeks, Italians, Maltese, English, Germans, 
French, and other western Europeans who are found in the streets of Cairo 
and other eastern cities, all go by the name of Franks to this day : parturiunt 
mures, et nascitur mons. The cause of the supremacy of the Frank name 
in the Levant is probably due to the prominent position taken at the time 
of the crusades by Godfrey of Boulogne, and the Franks of Northern 
France. See Purchas, His Pilgrimes^ vol. l p. 305; Trench, Study of 
Wordsy p. 72. Grimm, Gesch, der Deut Spr, p. 789, attributes this diflFu- 
sion of the Frank name to the repute of the Carlovingian empire. Latham 
ascribes it to the exploits of Robert Guiscard and his Normans I Nat, of 
Europe^ voL ii. p. 23, 


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Names of Conquering Tribes, yi 

fluence. Even so late as the time of Philippe Auguste, 
the term FRANCE did not comprehend either Aquitaine 
or Languedoc^ Several of the old French provinces — 
OF FRANCE — ^preserve the names of the German tribes 
which conquered them. The eastern division of the 
Frank nation has left its name in the Bavarian province 
of FRANKEN, or Franconia, as we call it. We find the 
name of the Suevi preserved in SUABIA ; of the Rugii in 
the Isle of RUGEN ;* of the Chatti in HESSE ; of the 
Saxons in saxony ; of the Lombards in lombardy ; of 
the Huns in HUNGARY; of the Atrebates in ARTOIS ; of 
the Pictones in POITOU ; of the Cymry in CUMBERLAND, 
CAMBRIA, and the CUMBRAY Islands at the mouth of the 
Clyde ;3 of the Goths or Jutes in CATALONIA, JUTLAND, 
the Isle of GOTHLAND, and the Isle of wight ;* and 
that of the Vandals possibly in ANDAL-USIA.* 

The Celtic Boii, who left their ancient "home" in 
BOHEMIA^ (Boi-hem-ia, or Boi-heim) to Sclavonic occu- 

1 Palgrave, Normandy and England^ voL iL p. 147. The "languages*' 
or ''nations'* into which the Hospitallers were divided (a.d. 1322) were: — 
Provence, Auvergne, France, Italy, Aragon, England, Germany, and 

« Knobel, Volkertafel, p. 38. 

» Knobel, Volkertafd^ p. 29 ; Kennedy, in Philoiog. Trans, for 1855, 
p. 164. To this list we may perhaps add the names of cambrai, coimbra, 
CAMBRILLA, and QUIMPER. AjTchdeacon Williams refers montgomeri in 
France, and the mountain refuge of Monte Comero (anciently Cumerium 
Promontorium) in Italy, to the same people. Edinburgh Trans, vol. xiiL 
P- 526. 

* In the laws of Edward the Confessor the men of the Isle of Wight are 
called Guti, i.e. Jutes or Goths. We have also the intermediate forms 
Geat, Gwit, Wiht, and Wight G and ^are convertible. See p. 64. On 
the identity of the names Geat and Goth, see Grinmi, Gesch, der DetU, Spr, 

p. 439- 

• See p. 76, infray for another etymology. 

' The Boii broke into Italy, and perhaps gave their name to Bononia, 


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J2 The Names of Nations. 

pants, have also given their name to Bai-txn^ or Bava- 
ria.^ So the Sclavonic and Hellenic districts under 
Moslem rule are called turkey, from the Turkomans or 
Turks, who constitute only a small governing class ;* and 
it is singular that the Philistines, the " strangers " from 
Crete, who merely occupied a narrow strip of the sea- 
coast, should, through their contact with the western 
world, have given their name to the whole of the land of 
PALESTINE, in which they never succeeded in gaining 
any lasting supremacy.* 

The names of ancient tribes are also very frequently 
preserved in the names of modern cities. The process 
by which this has taken place is exemplified in the case 
of the Taurini, whose chief city, called by the Romans 
Augusta Taurinorum, is now Torino, or TURIN ; while 
the capital of the Parisii, Lutetia Parisiorum, is now 
PARIS ; and that of the Treviri, Augusta Trevirorum, has 
become Trier or Treves.* We have the name of the 

now BOLOGNA, and to bovanium, another town in Italy. It has been 
thought that bordeaux and bourbon also bear the name of the BoiL 
See Diefenbach, Cdtka, ii. part i. pp. 261, 316 ; Grimm, Gesch. der Dmt, 
Spr, vol. L pp. 166, 502 ; Prichard, Researches, vol. iii. p. 89 ; Prichard, 
Eeuiem Origin of Celtic Nations , pp. 133 — 136; Tschudi, Hauptschliissd^ 
p. 179; Knobel, Vblkertafei, pp. 47, 48; Mommsen, Hist, of Romty voL i 
p. 338 ; Latham, Germania^ p. 92 ; Latham, Nationalities of Europe, 
vol ii. p. 326 ; Zeuss, Die Deutschen, p. 641 ; Liddell, Hist, Rome, vol. i. 
p. 165 ; Schafarik, Slaw, Alt. vol. i. p. 382. 

1 See p. 68, supra. 

' The word Turk had a still wider signification in the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries, when it was used to denote all Mahomedans, as the 
word Saracen was in the twelfth century. Trench, Glossary, p. 222. 
Compare the collect for Good Friday—'* All Jews, Turks, infidels, and 

* Renan, Langues S^mitiques, p. 57; Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, 
pp. 256, 257; Jewish Church, p. 362. 

^ Of course, in cases of this kind it is impossible to say that the name of 
the city is not more ancient than the name of the tribe. The names Parisi 


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Ethnic Names conserved in the Names of Cities, 73 

Damnonii in DEVON, and a portion of the name of the 
Z>«rotriges is preserved in 2?^rchester, of the Huiccii in 
fForcester, of the Iceni in Iken and /cvfeborough, of the 
Selgovae in the SoNf^y, of the Bibroci in Brsy hundred, 
near Windsor, of the Regni in Hegnewood or i?i«^- 
wood in Hants, and of the Cassii of Caesar in the 
hundred of Cashio, Hertfordshire, and in Cas/iwbury 
Park, which probably occupies the site of the chief town 
of the tribe. Many of these names have a certain ethno- 
logical value, inasmuch as they enable us to localize 
ancient tribes; and therefore a list of such probable 
identifications is subjoined in the appendix.^ 

The world-famous name of imperial Rome has been 
retained by various insignificant fragments of the Roman 
empire. The Wallachians, the descendants of the Roman 
colonists on the Danube, proudly call themselves ROMANI, 
and their country ROMANIA. The language of modern 
Greece is called the ROMAIC ; that of Southern France is 
the ROMANCE ; and that of the Rhaetian Alps the RO- 
MANSCH. The ROMAGNA of Italy preserves the memory 
of the bastard empire which had its seat at Ravenna ; and 
the name of the Asiatic pashalics of ROUM and ERZEROUM 
are witnesses to the fact that in the mountain fastnesses 
of Armenia the creed and the traditions of the Eastern 
Empire of Rome continued to exist long after the sur- 
rounding provinces had fallen under the dominion of the 
Turks ; while for the European province of roumelia 
was reserved the privilege of being the last morsel to be 
swallowed by the Moslem Cyclops. 

or Tanrini, for instance, may not be true ethnic names, but may have been 
derived from the name of their capital, the original name of which can only 
be dimly discerned through its Latin garb. See Ansted and Latham, 
Chatmd Islands^ p. 311. 
1 Appendix A, 


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74 The Names of Nations. 

Conversely the name of a city has often become at- 
tached to the surrounding region. The ROMAN EMPIRE 
must ever remain the chief instance of such an extension 
of meaning. This has also been the case with the king- 
dom of CABOOL, with the State of NEW YORK, with 
BERNE, zOrich, and others of the Swiss cantons, with 
several German States, such as HANOVER, BADEN, 
BRUNSWICK, and MECKLENBURG, and with a large num- 
ber of the English counties, as YORKSHIRE, LANCASHIRE, 
and SALOP. 

A few countries have taken their names from some 
ruler of renown. LODOMIRIA, which is the English form 
of the Sclavonic Vlodomierz, is so called from St. Vladi- 
mar, the first Christian Tzar.^ The two Lothairs, the 
son and the grandson of Louis le D6bonnaire, received, 
as their share of the Carlovingian inheritance, a kingdom 
which comprised Switzerland, Alsace, Franche Comt6, 
Luxembourg, Hainault, Juliers, Li^ge, Cologne, Treves, 
the Netherlands, Oldenburg, and Friezland. This terri- 
tory went by the name of the Regnum Lotharii, Lotha- 
ringia, or Lothier-regne ; but by the incapacity or 
misfortune of its rulers the outlying provinces were 
gradually lost, so that in the course of centuries the 
ample "realm of Lothair" has dwindled down into 
the contracted limits of the modern province of 

The most recent instance of a state called from the 
name of its founder is BOLIVIA ; a name which remains 
as a perpetual reproach to the Bolivians, proclaiming the 
discords and jealousies which drove Bolivar, the liberator 

1 Actvss the Carpathians^ p. 206. 

■ Palgrave, Normandy and England^ vol. L p. .363 ; Yonge, Christian 
NamcSf voL iL p. 391. 


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Ethnic Names derived from Geographical Position. 75 

and dictator, to die in obscure exile on the banks of the 
Mississippi Stet notninis umbra. 

The name by which we know CHINA belongs, in all 
probability, to the same category. It was during the 
reign of the dynasty of Thsin, in the third century before 
Christ, that the first knowledge of the Celestial Empire 
was conveyed to the West That the form of the name 
should be China, rather than Tsin or SINA,^ seems to 
prove that our first acquaintance with the Chinese em- 
pire must have been derived from the nation in whose 
hands was the commerce with the far East — the Malays 
— ^who pronounce Tlisina as C7/ina.* 

The names of America, Tasmania, Georgia, Carolina, 
and others of this class have already been discussed.^ 

Another class of names of countries is derived from 
their geographical position. Such are ECUADOR, the re- 
public under the Equator, and piedmont, the land at 
the foot of the great mountain chain of Europe. Names 
of this class very frequently enable us to discover the re- 
lative position of the nation by which the name has been 
bestowed. Thus SUTHERLAND, which occupies almost the 
extreme northern extremity of our island, must evidently 
have obtained its name from a people inhabiting regions 
still further to the North — the Norwegian settlers in 
Orkney. We may reasonably attribute to the Genoese 
and Venetians the name of the levant,* for to the 
Italians alone would the eastern shores of the Mediter- 
ranean be the '* land of the sunrise." In like manner the 

1 The ancient fonn SINA indicates transmission through the Arabs. 
Stiinnhokn, IVikingsuge, p. 2S4. 

■ Hue, China, voL L p. 347 ; Cooley, History of Maritime and Inlatid 
Discovery, voL L p. 120; Fleming, Travels, p. 336. 

> See Chapter II. 

^ Compare the use of the word Orient. 


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76 The Nanus of Nations. 

Greeks of Constantinople, who watched the sun rise over 
the mountains of Asia Minor, called the land ANATOLIA 
(the rising), a name which is preserved in that of the 
Turkish province of NATOLIA. The name of JEPAN or 
Jehpun is evidently of Chinese, and not of native origin, 
for it means the "source of day."^ The AMALEKITES,* 
as well perhaps as the SARACENS,' are the " Orientals ; " 
BACTRI A comes from a Persian word bakhtavy the east ; * 
the Portuguese province of the ALGARBE is "the west;" 
and some scholars are of opinion that the name of 
ANDALUSIA is also from an Arabic source, and that it 
signifies Hesperia, or the "region of the evening."* 

The name of the DEKKAN is a Sanskrit word, which 
means the " South." The etymology of this word gives 
us a curious glimpse into the daily life of the earliest 
Aryan races. The Sanskrit dakshina (cf. the Latin 
dextera) means the right hand, and to those who daily 
worshipped the -rising sun, the south would, of course, 
be the dakkhina^ or dekkarty "that which is to the 

Hesychius tells us that EUROPE means xeipa t§9 
Suo-eo)?, the land of the setting sun, and the etymology 

1 Kenrick, Pkanicia^ p. 8$ ; Alcock, Capital of the Tycoon, voL ii. 
p. 88. 
■ Renan, Lang. Simit, p. 109. 

• Welsford, English Language, p. 27. 

* Ibid. 

* See Gibbon, note, chap. 51, vol. vi. p. 429. It is more probable, how- 
ever, that Andalusia is Vandalusia, the country of the Vandals. See p. 71, 
supra; Keferstein, Kelt. Alt. voL ILp. 313; Gayangos, Moham. Dynasties, 
voL L pp. 23, 322, 

• Pictet, Orig. Indo-Eur. vol. il p. 495 ; Prichard, Researches, voL iv. 
p. 93 ; Brown, Camatic Chronology, p. 83. Lassen, however, Jnd. Alt. 
vol L p. 46, derives the name from the Sanskrit d^dn, peasants. £S sham, 
the local name of Syria, means " the left." 


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Europe^-Asia. jj 

h supported by Kenrick^ and Rawlinson,^ who think 
that we have in this case a Semitic root applied by the 
Phoenicians to the countries which lay to the west of 
them. Dean Trench, on the other hand, supports the 
common explanation that the term eiJp-aJTn; is descriptive 
of the "broad face" or profile, which the coast, near 
Mount Athos, would present to the Asiatic Greek.^ 

The origin of the name of ASIA is also in dispute. 
Pott* refers it to the Sanskrit ushas? and thinks that it 
means the " land of the dawn," and is, therefore, to be 
classed with such names as Levant, Anatolia, and Japan. 
On the other hand, much may be said in favour of the 
view that the word Asia was originally only the designa- 
tion of the marshy plain of the Cayster* — the Asian 
plain on which EPHESUS (l^€o--o9) was built ; and the 
root as or es may, perhaps, be referred to that widely- 
diffused word for water which enters into the names of 
so many rivers and marshes throughout the Indo-Euro- 
pean region.^ As the dominion and the importance of 
the city of Ephesus increased, the name of this Asian 
district would naturally be extended to the surrounding 

1 Phftnicia^ p. 85. 

' Herodotusy voL iii. p. 40. 

* English^ Past and Present^ p. 226. Grimm makes the application of 
the root refer rather to the broad fiice of the earth, than to the broad outline 
of the coast Deut. Myth, p. 631. It is curious that the same etymological 
connexion which appears to exist between the c^pcMt, Europe, and the 
mythological Europa, is found between the Norse words rinta^ the earth, 
Rindr, the spouse of Odin, and rind^ cattle. Deui. Myth, p. 230. Cf. 
Kari Miiller, Mythologies p. 133. 

^ Etymol, Fofsch, voL ii. p. I0a 

* Cf. the Greek lfl»r. 

' 'Air£y iw \9ttiuyt, KaBffrplov i^i fi4€$p€L Homer, Uiad, b. ii. 1. 461. 
See Forbiger, Att, Geogr, voL ii p. 38, 
7 See Chapter IX. 


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78 The Names of Nations. 

region, and the Romans afterwards transferred to the 
whole country east of the iEgean the name which they 
found attaching to that Asiatic province with which they 
first became acquainted.* 

The earliest name for the African continent was LIBYA. 
The root is, perhaps, the Greek word Idfiay moisture — an 
etymology which, inappropriate as it may seem, would 
indicate the fact that Africa was first known to the 
Greeks as the region from which blew the Libyan or 
"rain-bringing" south-west wind.* 

The meaning of the word AFRICA, the Roman name 
of Libya, is very doubtful. The name seems to have 
originated, in the neighbourhood of Carthage, and is pro- 
bably Punic, at all events Semitic. It has been con- 
jectured, with some show of probability, that it is derived 
from the ethnic designation of some tribe in the neigh- 
bourhood of Carthage, and whose name signified "The 
Wanderers,"* in the same way that the NUMIDIANS were 
the vofidSe^ — Nomads, or wandering shepherd tribes, an- 
cestors of the Berbers and Kabyles — and as the Suevi 
or Swabians,* and probably also the Vandals and the 

1 The name of Asia Minor seems to have been invented by Oiosins in 
the fifth century, when a wider geographical knowledge required the name 
of Asia for all the regions to the east of the Mediterranean. See Trench, 
Study of Words, p. 96. 

* Rawlinson, Herodotus^ voL iii. p. 40. 

s See Movers, Die Phonitier^ pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 402; Rawlinson, Herodotus^ 
vol. iii. p. 40 ; and Mommsen, Hist. Rome, Ahrens, in Kuhn's ZeUsehrifi, 
vol. iii. p. 171, thinks Africa is the "south land." Cf. Forstemann, Ib^ 
vol. L p. 15. 

* From sehweben^ to move. See Zeuss, Die Deutscken^ p. 57 ; Miiller, 
Markeftf vol. i. pp. 164 — 168. Grimm thinks the root is a Sclavonic word 
meaning free. Gesck, der DeuL Spr, p. 322. Leo, VorUmngen^ voL L 
p. 96, prefers a Sanskrit root meaning '* offerers," and he believes that the 
practice of human sacrifice lingered long in the tribe. On human sacrifice 
among the Germans, see Milman, Hist Latin Christianity^ vol. i. p. 244 ; 


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Africa. 79 

Wends,^ were the roving border tribes of ancient Ger- 

A few names of races are descriptive of personal 
appearance, or physical characteristics ; and they there- 
fore possess a peculiar value in the eyes of ethnographers. 

The EDOMITES were the " red" men,' the MOORS* and 
the PHOENICIANS* probably the "dark" men, and of still 
darker hue are the NEGROES of NEGROLAND, and the 
ETHIOPIANS, or "burnt-faced men,"® quos India torret 

Mone, Gesch. Heidenihums^ voL ii. pp. 20, 136; Turner, Angio-Saxons, 
▼oL L p. 222. 

^ The root of these two names appears in the German word wandeln^ and 
its English equivalents, to wander or ^loend. To this root may also be 
attributed the name of Flanders ; as well, perhaps, as those of vindelicia, 
VINDOBONUM, VENETIA, and Others. See Zeuss, Du Deuischen und die 
Niachbarsidmmey p. 57 ; Grimm, Gesch, der Deut, Spr, pp. 322, 475, 476 ; 
lAtham, Germania^ Epil^. p. xc. ; Amdt, Eur, Spr, p. 89. 

s The name of the scots has been deduced from an Erse word, scuite^ 
meaning "wanderers,*' which is preserved in the English word scout, 
Meyer, Brii. Assoc, Reports for 1847, P- S^S \ Bunsen, PhU, of Univ. Hist, 
▼oL i p. 151 ; Wilson, Prehist, Annals o/Scotland^ p. 477; Betham, Gael, 
pp. xi. xii. The name of the Scythians may possibly be allied to that of 
the Scots. The parthians are the "wanderers'* or strangers. Pott, 
Jnda-Germ, Spr, p. 52; Bergmann, Les Gites, pp. 24, 28. On Ethnic 
names of this dass, see Bergmann, Peuples Primitifs de la Race de Jafite, 
pp. 42, 45, 52, S3, quoted by Renan, Lang, Shtit, p. 39. 

s Knobel, Volkertafd, pp. 12, 135 ; Renan, Lang, Simil, p. 39. 

* Movers, Phonizier, part ii. vol. ii p. 372. 

* From ^i>i|, reddi^-brown. See Knobel, Vblkertafely pp. 12, 317 ; 
Kenrick, Phoenicia, p. 68 ; Forbiger, Alt, Geogr, voL ii. p. 659 ; Momm- 
sen, Nist, Rome, voL iL p. I Movers inclines to the opinion that Phoenicia 
is the " land of palms." Die Phcnizier, pt il vol. i. pp. 2—9. Cf. Stanley, 
Sinai and Pal, p. 267. 

* Al0fo^, from cd9«, to bum. Cf. H/Ao^', the swarthy-faced. Curtius, 
Grundziige Gr. Etym, vol. i. p. 215; Donaldson, New Cratylus, p. 138; 
Varronianus, p. 30; J. K. [enrick], in Phil, Mus, vol. L p. 353. So the 
native name of Egypt, Chdmi (Ham), means black. Kenrick, Egypt 0/ 
Herodotus, p. 22 ; Knobel, Vblkertafd, pp. 13, 239, 240 ; Renan, Lang, 
Shnit, p. 42 ; Wilkinson, Anc, Egypt, vol. ii p. 47 ; Bunsen, Report on 
Ethnology in Brit. Assoc, Reports for 1847, p. 254. The name Egypt 


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8q The Names of Nations, 

— ^and we may compare the name of the Du-gall and 
Fin-gall, the "black" and "white" strangers from 
Scandinavia, who plundered the coasts of Scotland, 
with that of the " Pale faces," who have encroached on 
the hunting-grounds of the "Red men" of North 
America, and of the " Blacks " of the Australian conti- 
nent. The Gipsies term themselves the ZINCALI or 
"black men." 1 

Professor Leo, with a great deal of learning, traces 
the name of the GOTHS or GET^E to the Sanskrit word 
gatay which denoted a special mode of dressing the hair 
in the form of a half moon, which was practised by the 
devotees of Siva.* The same writer thinks that the 
BOII are the "trim" or "neat" men.* 

The name of the Britons has been conjectured, rightly 
or wrongly, to be from the Celtic britht paint ;* and till 
rather recent times Claudian was supposed to be correct 
in his etymology of the name of the painted Picts — nee 

denotes the country which the Nile overflows. The root ai% which means 
*' water," appears in the name of the iEgean Sea. Kenrick, Ancuni Egypt, 
voL ii. p. Ii6 ; Curtius, Die lonier vor dcr lonischer Wanderung, p. 18. 
Mizraim, the Biblical name, means "the two" banks, or more probably 
* * the two " districts of Upper and Lower Egypt. Knobel, Volkertafdy p. 273 ; 
Wilkinson, Arte. Egypt, 2d series, voL i. p. 261 ; Forbiger, Alt. Gtogr. 
voL ii. p. 767. So INDIA and sinde are each the "land of the river." 
Pictet, Or. Indo-Euro, voL i. pp. 119, 144. 

1 Pott, Zigeuner, vol. I p. 27. . 

« Leo, Vorlesungen, voL L pp. 83 — 85 and 258. Cf. Buyers, Northern 
India, p. 449 ; Bergmann, Les Cites, pp. 43, 47. So the Hastings or 
Astingi, the noblest race of the Goths, are the "men with well-ordered 
hair." Leo, Voriesungen, vol. i p. 86. 

* From the Gaelic word boigh, pronounced boi, Leo, Voriesungen, voL i. 
p. 247. Thierry makes them " the terrible." Hist, d. GatUois^ vol. i« 
p. liv. Cf. Keferstein, Kelt, Alt, voL ii p. 293. 

4 No nation would have called themselves by such a name. The pecu- 
liarity might have struck a foreigner, but not a native. See p. 56, note. 


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Ethnographic Names, 8 r 

falso nomine Picti. It is, however, far more probable 
that the PICTS, as well as the PICTONES of Gaul, are the 
** fighters," the name being traceable to the Gaelic /^Wa, 
or the Welsh peithy a ** fighting man." * It has been 
thought that the SCYTHIANS * are either the '^shooters," 
or the "shield men ;" and that the men of the Balearic 
Isles are the "slingers."* The TURKS are the "men 
with helmets,"* and the TATARS probably derive their 
name from a Turanian root, meaning primarily to stretch, 
and hence " to draw the bow," and " to pitch tents." ^ The 
name of the COSSACKS is also Turanian, and means 
" mounted warriors." « 

The hatred and trembling contempt felt by the 
Hindoos for those fierce, lowborn freebooters who 
carved so many kingdoms out of the falling Mogul 
empire, is expressed by the name MAHRATTA, which 
signifies "pariahs" or "outcasts." There are two similar 

1 Compare the Latin word/ajgTw. Pictet, Orig, Indo-Eur, vol. ii. p. 208 j 
Meyer, in Brit, Assoc. Reports iox 1847, p. 305 ; Wilson, Prehistoric Annals 
of Scotland^ p. 470. See, however. Pott, Etym, Forsch, vol. il p. 531 ; 
Gladstone, Horner^ p. 347. 

« More probably, however, the name Sjc^s is a corraption of tschud, 
baxbarian (see p. 60) ; a name which the Greek colonists on the Euxine 
hiaid applied by their Sclavonic neighbours to the barbarous tribes further 
to the north. See Schafarik, Slaw. Alterth. vol. i. pp. 285, 286 ; Amdt, 
Eur. Spr. pp. 138, 323. 

* Movers, Die PhSnifuer^ pt ii. vol. ii. p. 584 ; Beigmann, Les Ghes^ 
pp. 31, 32; Diefenbach, Orig. Eur. p. 239; Boudard, Sur POrigine des 
Premiers Habitants des lies BaUares^ in the Revtu ArchSologique, xii 
pp. 248—250. 

* Gabelentz, in the Zeitschrift d. Morgml. voL il p. 72. 

^ See an adfmirable article on Comparative Philology in the Edinburgh 
Revuw, vol. xdv. p. 308. Amdt, Eur. Spr. pp. 317, 326, 327, derives the 
name of the Tatars from the Chinese Ta-ta^ a barbarian. This would pro- 
bably be onomatopceian, like mlich^ and varvara. See pp. 61, 62, supra, 

* T^hfliw^ Nationalities of Europey vol. L p. 376. 


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82 The Names of Nations. 

ethnic names in India. The cannadi are "rubbish," 
and the tulava are "vile."^ 

With regard to the SAXONS, the old etymology of 
Verstegan,* broached two hundred years ago, has 
recently been revived and supported by competent 
scholars. It would seem that the name did not refer 
to any particular tribe, but was the designation of a 
military confederation composed of adventurers from 
various low-German peoples, who were all distinguished 
by their use of the seax^ a short knife-like sword.* Dr. 
Latham, indeed, is of opinion^ that the names Angle 
and Saxon related to the same people — ^the names, 
perhaps, not being co-extensive ; all Angles were 
probably Saxons, though all Saxons were not Angles. 
Or Angle may have been the native name, and Saxon 
that bestowed by Fi:?tnks or Celts. 

It has been supposed that the FRANKS werfe dis- 
tinguished by the use of the frame, francay or framea, 
a kind of javelin ; and the Langobards or LOMBARDS, 
by a long partxsaxi or haXberd? These etymologies are 

1 Brown, Carnatic Chronology^ p. 84. 

' Restitution of Decayed Intdligence, p. 24. 

s Leo, Vorleiungen, vol. i. pp. 236 and 288. The seax was originally a 
stone knife, or celt, the name being derived from saihs, a stone. Cf. the 
Latin saxum, 

* Latham, Eth, Brit, Is. pp. 191—195 ; Eng. Lang, vol. L pp. 162—165. 
Cf. Amdt, Eur, Spr, p. 25a Grimm, Gtsch, der Deui, Spr, pp. 228, 609, 
Donaldson, English Ethnography ^ p. 44, and Turner, Anglo-Saxons, voL L 
p. 100, connect the Saxons with the Asiatic Sacse. Pictet rejects this. 
Orig, IndO'Europ, voL L p. 87 ; Cf. Bergmann, Les Cites^ p. 22. 

^ Similarly the name of the angles has been derived from angol, a hook, 
that of the Germans from the javelin called a^r, and those of the heruli 
and the cherusci from the Gothic heru^ a sword. Kemble, Saxons, voL L 
p. 41 ; Grimm, Gesch, der Deut, Spr, pp. 8i» 512 ; Leo, Vorlesungen, voL L 
p. 255 ; Wackemagel, in Haupt's T^Uschrift, vol. vi. p. 16. Cf. Miiller, 
Marken, pp. 176—180; Latham, Eng. Lang, voL i. p. 216; Bosworth, 


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' Mountaineers. 83 

plausible, but by no means indisputable. They may, 
however, be supported by the analogous fact in the 
history of names that the Red men of North America 
called the early European settlers by words signifying 
*' sword men '* and " coat men." ^ 

The name of DAUPHINY is unique. Its origin is to be 
traced to the Dolphin, which was the heraldic bearing of 
the Counts of Albon, the feudal lords of the district 
The name of this cetacean, if traced to its source, 
proves, curiously enough, to be derived from a local 
name. The chief shrine of Apollo was at Delphi, and 
the animal, heKi^k, was sacred to the Delphian God.^ 

The natural features of the country have supplied 
many ethnic names. From the Greek Tpaj(ys we obtain 
the name of THRACE,* the rugged country, as well as of 
TRACHONITIS,* a sort of basaltic island in the Syrian 
desert — a scene of grand rocky desolation, where vast 
fissures, and lines of craggy battlement call to mind the 
lunar landscape, as viewed through a powerful telescope, 
rather than any scene on the surface of the earth.* PETRA 
takes its name from the long sandstone parapets which 
gird theWady Mousa ; ALBION is the "hilly land" of 
Scotland,* and ALBANIA is so called from the snowy 

Origin^ pp. 122 ; and Mone, Gesch, Heidmtk, vol. ii. p. 124 ; who quotes 
Leo, Othins Verehrungy a work which I have not been able to procure. 
» Roger Williams, Key intff the Languages of N, America^ p. 39. 

• C. O. Midler, Dorians, vol. i. p. 325 ; Manage, Origines, pp. 250, 
698 ; Yonge, Christian Names, voL i. p. 157 ; see, however, Curtius, Grund* 
Miige, vol. il p. 65 ; Kuhn, Zeitschrift, vol. ii. p. 129. 

« Gladstone, Homer, voL i. pp. 158, 347, 382 ; Grimm thinks the root is 
epatf^s rather than rpax^s. Gesch. der Deut, Spr, p. 195. 
« Trachonitis is the Greek translation of Argob, the Hebrew name. 

• See Stanley, JtTvish Church, p. 213 ; Graham, in Cambridge Essays {oi 
1858, p. 145. 

• Pictet, Orig, Indo-Euro, vol. L p. 70. C£ Meyer, in Reports of Brit, 
Assoc, for 1847, p. 303. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

84 The Names of Nations, 

range, whose peaks are seen, from the Ionian islands, 
glistening brilliantly in the evening sun. Cambria and 
Cumberland are the lands of the Cymry — ^the moun- 
taineers,^ and the CROATS or Chorwats,* as well as the 

the GREEKS, the DORIANS,^ the THURINGIANS, and the 
TYROLESE are the " Highlanders," while ATTICA is the 
" Promontory." « 

The CANAANITES are the " lowlanders," • as dis- 
tinguished from the AVITES and the AMORITES, or 
" dwellers on the hills," and from the HITTITES and the 
HiviTES, who were respectively the "men of the 
valleys," and the "men of the towns." ^^ The POLES 

1 The Cymry are probably the " men of the combes," or mountaineeis. 
Mone, Cdtische Forsckut^en^ p. 329. Cf. Donaldson, Varron, p. 63; 
Wright, Essays, vol. 1. p. loi. Gliick, Kelt. Nametty p. 26, thinks they 
are " the people." Seep. 57, supra, 

• From the Sclavonic word gora^ a mountain. The root is found in the 
name of Car-inthia, and also of the Carpathians, which were anciently called 
Chorwat, or Chrbat See Adelung, Mithridates, vol. ii. p. 647 ; Knobel, 
Volkeriafd, p. 44 ; Schafarik, Slaw. Alterth, vol. L p. 49 ; vol. ii. p. 305 ; 
Buttmann, Ortsnatnetiy p. 72 ; Church of England Quarterly. No. 73, 
p. 144 ; Bronisch, in Neues Lausitzisches Magazin, vol. xxxiL p. 274. 

» Brace, Races, p. 173. 

^ Malaja means a mountain in the Turanian languages of India. Lassen, 
Ind. Alt. vol. i. p. 57. 

• Haupt, in Haupt's Zeitschrift, voL iii. p. 190. 

• The root is seen in the Latin arx, and the Greek tfjcpor. See Church 
of England Quarterly, No. 73, p. 147. 

7 The same root is found in the Latin /Mrris, and in the Tors of Devon- 
shire and Derbyshire; The Tyrol, however, may take its name from a 
castle near Meran. ■ 

• The root is found in dimf and athos. Phil. Mus. vol. it p. 366. 

• Curtius, Grundziige der Gr. Ety. voL i. p. 32 ; Knobel, Volkertafel, 
p. 309 ; Renan, Lang. Shnit. p. 182 ; Stanley, Sinai and Pal. pp. 133, 267 ; 
Ewald, Gesch. d. Volkes Isr, voL i. p. 281 ; Movers, Phihtisder, pt ii. vol.i. p. 6. 

*® Movers, Phonizier, pt. ii. vol. i. p. 80 ; Ewald, Gesch. d. Volkes Isr. 
vol. i. pp. 279—282 ; Movers, Art PhonizUr, in Ersch und Gruber^ 
pp. 3i9» 327* 33» ; Wilton, NegA, p. 159. 


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Lowlanders. 85 

or Polacs are the '* men of the plain," 1 VOLHYNIA is the 
'Mevel country," WESTPHALIA the great ** western field," « 
HOLLAND is the "fen,"^ BATAVLA (Bet-au), the "good 
land,"* BRABANT the "ploughed land,"* and EUBCEA is 
the "well tilled." • The ARGIVES lived in the " tilled" plain 
of Aigos,^ and the LATINS are the men of the " broad 
plain" of Latium.® The KURDS are the " shepherds," 
the SARMATIANS are the " men of the steppe," * and the 
ARABS as well as the BEDOUIN ^^ are the " men of the 
desert," as contrasted with the FELLAHS or FELLAHIN, 
the " men of the cultivated ground" 

The BURGUNDIANS were the dwellers in burghs or 
fortified towns." The TYRRHENIANS, or ETRUSCANS, 

1 Schafarik, Slanv, Alt, vol. i. p. 49 ; vol. iL p. 399 ; Amdt, Europ, Spr, 

p. 249. 

' Zeuss, Die Deutscken^ p. 390. 

• From ollarUy marshy ground. Bosworth, Origin^ p. 21. 

^ Bet, the first part of this name, is the obsolete positive degree of better 
and best. The second syllable au, land, is seen in the word fall-ow, the 
bad or faifmg land. Bosworth, Origin^ p. 92 ; Motley, Dutch Republic, 
ToL i. p. 4. Cf. Thierry, Hist. Gaul, vol. ii. p. 43, 

B Brabant, anciently Brdch-bant, is from the old high German prAcha, 
ploughing. Bant means a district, as in the names of the Subantes, Tri- 
bantes, and Bucinobantes. Griinm, Gesch, dcr Deut, Spr, p. 593 ; Forste- 
mann, Ortsnamett, p. I02. 

• Gladstone, Homer, p. 382. 

^ The root is seen in Ijpyor. Gladstone, Homer, pp. 3S4 — ^402 ; Thirl- 
wall, Greece, vol. i. p. 38 ; Cur tins. Die lonier, p. 17 ; Movers, Die 
PhUnizier, pt. L p. 8. The pelasgians are, perhaps, the **men of the 
plain." Gladstone, Homer, p. 214. Other conjectures will be found in 
Marsh, Horce Pdcugica, p. 17 ; Thirl wall, Greece, voL i p. 45 ; Donaldson* 
VarrofUanus, p. 30 ; New Crat, p. 138. 

8 Mommsen, Hist, of Rome, vol. i. p. 36 ; Forbiger, Alt, Geogr, voL iii. 
p. 649. 

• From sara^ a desert or steppe, and mat^ a tribe or race. This root is 
lecB in the names of the Jaxa-matse, Thisa-matse, Aga-matse, Chari-matse, 
and other Asiatic tribes. Schafarik, Slaw, Alterth, vol. L p. 367. 

^^ From arabah, a desert, and badiya, a desert 
" Grimm, Gesch, der Deut, Spr, p. 700. 


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86 The Names of Natiofis. 

were the tower-builders.^ The SPARTANS were the 
dwellers in Sparta, the town of "scattered houses," more 
loosely l)uilt than other Grecian cities, because uncon- 
' fined by a wall.* The RAMNES, as Mommsen thinks,* 
were the "Foresters," a meaning which, according to 
Wilhelm von Humboldt, attaches to the name of the 
CALEDONIANS are, probably, the " men of the woods," * 
FIFE is the " forest," LYCIA* and CORSICA^ the " wooded." 
PONTUS was the province on the Black "Sea." 
POMERANIA^ is a Sclavonic term, meaning "by the 
sea." The Celtic names of the MORINI,® of ARMORICA,* 

1 See Knobel, Volkertafei, p. 90 ; Donaldson, New Crat, p. 133 ; 
Donaldson, Varron, p. 13. 

* Pott, Etymol(^h€ Spahne, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift^ vol. v. p. 252. 

* Hislory of Rome^ vol. L p. 44. 

* See p. 65, supra, 

* A word akin to lucus must have once existed in the Greek language. 
See Gladstone's Horner^ voL i. p. 186. The Lacedemonians are either 
the dwellers in the forest, or, more probably, the dwellers in the hollow or 

* Bochart, vol. iii. p. 579. | 

' Yrom pOj by, and tnore^ the sea. So the Pnisi, or PRUSSIANS, are 
probably the Po-Rusi, the men near the Rusi, or Russians, or perhaps near 
the Russe, a branch of the river Niemen. See Friedricb the Great, Mem, 
Hist Brand, and Voigt, Gesch. Preussens^ vol. i. p. 668, quoted by Mahn, 
Nam, PreussenSf p. 3. Compare Donaldson, Varron. p. 70 ; Pictet, Oriff. 
IndO'Eur. vol. i. p. no; Latham, Ethnology of Brit. Is. p. 73; Amdt, 
Eur. Spr. pp. 250, 293. 

> And of the Morgetes, on the coast of Sicily, according to Archdeacon 
Williams, Essays, p. 89. 

' The preposition ar, on, by, or at, is that found in the names of Argyle, 
Aries, Armagh, ftc. See Adelung, Mithridates, vol. ii. p. 43, 44 ; Davies, 
Cdtic Researches, p. 221; Pott, Etymol. Forsch. vol. ii. P..42 ; Diefenbach, 
Cdtica, i. pp. 62, 80; Orig. Eur, p. 231 ; Gluck, Kelt. Namen, pp. 31 — 
36 ; Manage, Origines, pp. 61, 680 ; Thierry, Hist d, Gaul, vol. i. pp. 
xxxix., 5. 


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Greeks. 87 

GAN or Moi^ant,^ have the same signification. The 
Salian Franks, to whom is attributed the Salic law of 
succession, lived by the salt water at the mouth of the 
Maas.^ Dr. Donaldson follows Mr. Kenrick • in thinking 
that the lONlANS are the "coast-men :* they were called 
also the AJywiX^fc, or the " Beachmen."* The ACHiEANS • 
may be the " Seamen," and the ^EOLIANS the " mixed 
men."^ The HELLENES, if not "hillmen," maybe the 
" warriors," whose martial prowess caused their name to 
be extended to the whole of the people whom we know 
by the name of GREEKS, This last name is a curious 
misnomer. Just as the name of Italy originally desig- 
nated only the extreme southern portion of the Peninsula,® 

^ From mifr, the sea, and ^nt, side; 

• Leo, Vor/aufigm, voL i. p. 257. 

■ Donaldson, New Crat, pp. 134, 143 ; Kenrick, Egypt of Herodotus^ and 
a paper On the Early Kings of Attica^ by J. K[enrick], in the Philolog. 
Museum, voL iL pp. 366, 367. 

• From ^ZoJF, the coast More probably they are the ** wanderers," from 
the Sanskrit root jd, which we find in the names of Ion, Hyperion, and 
Amphion. Coitias, lonier^ pp. 7, 8; Curtius, Grundziige, vol. L p. 37* 
Lassen and Pott think the root is the Sanskrit juwan, young. This, how- 
ever, seems too abstract Knobel, Vblkertafdy p. 79. 

• Gladstone, Homer, p. 382 ; Thirlwall, Hist Greece, vol. i. p. 43. 

' Conjecturally from an obsolete Greek root, allied to the Latin aqua, 
and fomid in the names of the Achelous and the Acheron. See note 6, 
p. 79, supra; and Church of England Quarterly, No. 73, p. 155. 

7 Donaldson, N^ew Crat. p. 142. Adelung thinks that the names of the 
VENETI and of the wends mean shore-dwellers. Mithridates, vol. ii. pp. 
451 and 655 ; Schafarik, Slaw. Alterth, vol. i. pp. 159, 164. See, however, 
p. 79, supra, 

» In Aristotle the word Italy denotes only a portion of Calabria. In the 
time of Augustus it came to mean the whole peninsula. Niebuhr, Hist. 
Rome^ voL L p. 17 ; Liddell, Hist Rome, vol. up. 16 ; Lewis, Credibility 
Ram. Hist. voL i p. 272. So Tyre seems to have given its name to the 
whole of SYRIA, and the names of Persian and parsee are traceable to the 
small province of Fars, or Pars. Gladstone, Homer, vol. L p. 549. Com- 
pare the case of Asia, p. 77, and see Kenrick, Egypt of Herodotus, p. 81 ; 
Buttmann, Mythologus, voL ii p. 172. Italy is, perhaps, the "land of 


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68 The Nanus of Nations. 

so the name of GREECE was derived from a small and 
unimportant Epirote tribe of "mountaineers" — the 
Graeci, who, in blood, were probably not Hellenes at all, 
but lUyrians. By the accident of geographical proximity^ 
the Romans became first acquainted with this tribe, and 
applied their name to the whole of Hellas; and the 
modern world has adopted this unfortunate blunder from 
the Romans, and stamped it with the approval of its 

cattle." Curtius, Grundzuge, vol. i p. 177 ; Forbiger, Alt. Geogr. vol. iiL 
p. 488 ; Bunsen, Phil, of Univ. Hist. vol. i. p. 103. Niebuhr, however, 
ridicules this etymology. 

^ See Latham, Germania, p. 28 ; Eng. Lang. vol. i. p. 166 ; Mommsen, 
Hist, of Rome, vol. i. p. 141 ; Thirlwall, Hist. Greece, vol. L p. 39. Com- 
pare the case of Palestine, p. 72, and of the Alemanni, p. 59. So the 
gipsies call the Germans, Saxons (see p. 57), and the Magyars call them» 
Schwabe, the Suabians being the German tribe with which they first 
became acquainted. 


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The Phomuians, 89 



PhysueU character of Phanician sties — Tyre — Sidon — Phenice — Phctnician 
colonies in Crete, Cyprus, Sardinia^ Corsica^ Italy ^ Sicily, Malta, Africa, 
Spain, and Britain. 

1 HE Phoenicians established a vast colonial empire. 
The Mediterranean coast-line of three continents was 
thickly dotted over with their settlements, which ex- 
tended beyond the pillars of Hercules, as far as the 
River Senegal^ to the south, and as far as Britain to 
the north. The causes of this development of colonial 
dominion must be sought, firstly, in the over-population 
of their narrow strip of Syrian coast, shut in between the 
mountains and the sea, and, secondly, in the spirit of 
mercantile enterprise with which the whole nation was 
imbued." * As in the case of the Venetians, the Dutch, 
and afterwards still more notably of the English, the 
factories, which were established for commercial purposes 
alone, rose gradually to be separate centres of dominion.' 

^ As evidenced by tlie Phoenician names of Rysadion (Cape Blanco), 
Soloeis (Cape Cantin), Soloentia (Cape Bojador), and Bambotus (the river 
Senegal). Movers, Phbniuer^ part ii voL ii p. 534 ; Renan, Lang. Shnit, 
p. 20a 

' Movers^ Die PAonixier, part iL voL ii. p. 5. 

' Renan, Langttes Shnitiques, p. 44. 


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90 The Phamiciani. 

To protect themselves from the lawless violence of the 
barbarous tribes with whom they traded, the merchant 
princes of Tyre found themselves unwillingly compelled 
to assume sovereignty over the surrpunding districts. 
The origin of the colonial empire of the Tyrians is 
curiously indicated by a physical characteristic which 
marks the sites of many of their settlements. These 
were placed, almost invariably, on some rocky island 
near the coast, or on some promontory connected with 
the mainland by a low isthmus. A position of this kind 
would usually afford the advantage of a natural harbour, 
in which vessels might find safe anchorage, while the 
trading settlement would be secured from the attacks of 
the barbarous tribes which occupied the mainland. Tyre 
itself was probably at first only a trading colony sent 
forth from the mother city at the entrance of the Persian 
Gulf. The name TZUR ^ or TYRE, which means a " rock," 
characterises the natural features of the site — z, rocky 
island near the coast — ^well suited to the requirements 
of a band of mercantile adventurers. The neighbouring 
city of Aradus stood also upon a littoral island. SIDON 
occupies a somewhat similar position, being built on a 
low reef running out to sea, and the name, which denotes 
a " fishing-station," * suggests to us what must have been 
the aspect of the place in those prehistoric times when 
the first settlement was made. Not unfrequently the 
names of the Phoenician settlements thus indicate the 
circumstances of their foundation. Sometimes, as in the 

^ Movers, Phonizier^ part ii. voL i. p. 174; Ersch und Gniber, sect iii. 
vol. xxiv. p. 436 ; Stanley, Sinai and PaL pp. 270, 49S. The name of 
SYRIA is probably derived from that of Tzur, its chief city. lb, p. 270. 

• Movers, Phoniziery part it vol. i. pp. 34, 868. Compare the name of 
BETH-SAiDA, the *' house of fish.'' 


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Physical Characteristics of Phoenician Sites. 91 

case of Spain, Malaga, or Pachynus, the names refer to 
the nature of the traffic that was carried on — more fre- 
quently, as in the case of Cadiz, Hippo, or Lisbon, we 
have a reference to the fortifications which were found 
necessary to protect the wealthy but isolated factory. 

We find the name of the nation repeated in Cape 
PHINEKE^ in Lycia, also in PHCENICE in Epirus, a place 
which now bears the name of Finiki,* and in five places 
called PHCENICUS, severally in Cythera, in Messenia, in 
Marmarica, in Ionia, and in Lycia* Pliny also states • 
that the island of Tenedos, as well as a small island near 
the mouth of the Rhone, was called PHCENICE. The 
latter may probably be identified with one of the Hieres 
islands, which would satisfy the conditions which the 
Phoenicians sought in their trading stations. One of the 
Lipari islands, anciently called Phcenicodes, now goes by 
the name of FELICUDI. 

But the most interesting spot on which the Phoenicians 
have left their name, is a rocky promontory on the 
southern coast of Crete, which possesses good harbours 
on either side. This place is still called phceniki, and 
has been identified * with the haven of Phoenice men- 
tioned in the Acts of the Apostles. St. Luke says, 
«We sailed under Crete . . . and came into a place 
which is called the Fair Havens . . . and because the 
haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part 
advised to depart thence also, if by any means they 

\ Kenrick, Photniciat p. 87. 

< Leake, Northern Greece^ vol. i. p. 66. It is possible that some of these 
places may be named from the palm-trees ^^^iw^^* growing on them. 
Olshausen, Phon, Ortsnamen^ p. 335. 

• Pliny, Ifist. Nat. iil ii, and v. 39. 

* Conybeare and Howson, Ufi and Epistles of St, Paulf vol. ii. pp. 
395—400 ; Movers, Phonmery pt. ii. vol. ii. p. 260W 


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92 The PJicmkians. 

might attain to Phenice, which is an haven of Crete, and 
there to winter." With true commercial instinct the 
Phoenicians seem to have selected for the centre of 
their Cretan trade this sea-washed promontory, with its 
double harbour, now, as in the time of St Paul, the best 
haven along the southern coast of the island. 

Lebena, another harbour on the Cretan coast, is the 
" Lion promontory." ^ There is a Cretan JORDAN flowing 
from a Cretan LEBANON.* IDALIA in Cyprus, now 
Dalin, is the "sacred grove."* SAMOS is the "lofty," 
and the name of SAMOTHRACE contains the same root* 
From the Phoenician word seluy a rock, we derive the 
name of SELINUS, now Selenti, in Cilicia — a town which 
stands on a steep rock almost surrounded by the sea.* 
TARSUS, the birthplace of St Paul, is "the strong."* 
LAMPSACUS, now Lamsaki, near Gallipoli, is the ** pas- 
sage,"^ and seems to have been the ferry across the 

Sardinia is full of Phoenician names. CAGLIARI, the 
chief town, was a Tynan colony, and its Phoenician name 
Caralis, or Cararis, has suffered little change. BOSA still 
bears its ancient Tyrian name unaltered. MACOPSISA, 
now Macomer, is the " town ; " OTHOCA seems to be a 
corruption of Utica, the " old " town, and NORA, like so 
many other Phoenician settlements, was built upon a 
little island off the coast.^ 

* Kenrick, Phanicia^ p. 83 ; Movers, PkSniMier^ pt. iL vol. iL p. 26a 
' Olshausen, PhbnkiscJu Ortsnanien^ p. 324. 

* Bochart, vol. iiL p. 356 ; Engel, Kypros, vol. L p. 153, apud Smith, 
Diet Geogr, vol. ii. p. 13. 

* Bochart, voL ill p. 378 ; Renan, Lang, SimiU p. 44. 
' Movers, Ph'onizUr^ pL iL vol. ii. p. 174. 

' Gesenius, Monutmnta^ p. 427. 

7 Movers, Phonizier^ pt ii. voL iL p. 296. 

* Other Phoenician niunes found in Sardinia, are Comus, Carbia, Ollnay 


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Sardinia — Corsica — Sicily — Malta. 93 

The name of CORSICA, according to Bochart, means 
the ** wooded." ^ The desolate forest-clad mountains of 
this island seem, however, to have had few attractions 
for the Phoenician merchants, since none of the towns 
bear names which, in their language, are significant.' 

At Caere, in Italy, there was a Tynan settlement, 
which anciently bore the Phoenician name of AGYLLA, 
the "round town"^ and in lower Italy we find the 
Phoenician names of Malaca, Sybaris, Crathis, Tempsa, 
Medma, and Hippo.* 

Cape PACHYNUS in Sicily, was the " station " for the 
boats engaged in the tunny fishery.* Catana, now 
CATANIA, is the "little" town.« MAZARA, which still 
preserves its ancient name, is the "castle"^ and the 
familiar name of ETNA is a corruption of attuna, the 
** furnace." * Many other ancient names attest the long 
duration of the Phoenician rule in this island.* 

Diodorus informs us that the Island of MALTA was a 
Phoenician settlement ; and we find that not only does 

Buccina, Cunusi, Charmis, and Sulchi. Movers, Phdnizier^ partii. vol. il 
pp. 558, 572, 576—578 ; Bochart, vol. iil p. 576. 

1 Bochart, vol. iiL p. 579. 

« Movers, pL ii. vol. il p. 578. 

• Mommsen, Hist, of Rome^ vol. i. p. 136; Okhausen, Phdnkische 
Ortsnameny p. 333. Cf. Gesenius, Monum, p. 419. 

• Movers, pt il vol. ii. p. 344. 
» lb. p. 325. 

• lb. p. 329. 

' ^. p. 332, Gesenius, p. 425. 

• Bochart, vol. iii. p. 526. The name cannot be derived from the Greek 
fldlOw, as Pictet shows. It may possibly be Oscan, according to Benfey, in 
Hbfer*s Zaischrift, vol. ii. p. 117; Curtius, Grundziige^ vol. i. p. 215. 
Cfl Church of England Quarterly^ No. 73, p. 147. 

• e,g. Arbela, which also occurs in Palestine ; Thapsus, the '* passage," 
Anesel, the "river head," Amathe, the "castle," Adana, Tabse, Motuca, 
Mactorium, Ameselum, Bidis, Cabala, Injcon, and many more. Movers 
pp. 329, 339—342; Gesenius, pp. 419, 428. 


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94 The Phcmicians. 

the name of the island bear out this assertion,^ but at 
HAGIAR CHEM — "the stones of veneration" — ^we have 
extensive remains of a Phoenician Temple. The site 
was explored by Sir H. F. Bouverie about twenty years 
ago, when the outlines of the seven courts of the temple 
were traced, and the statues of the seven presiding 
planetary deities were disinterred.* 

The Phoenician capital was, probably, near the south- 
eastern extremity of the island. Here is a deep bay, on 
the shores of which stand the ruins of a temple of Mel- 
earth, the ** city king." * This word cartha, a city, appears 
in the Old Testament in the names of twelve places 
called Kirjath, as well as in that of CARTHAGE, the great 
Tyrian Colony in Northern Africa.* 

Carthage — Kart-hada, or Kartha hadtha— the "New 
Town " * soon eclipsed in splendour and importance the 
older settlement of UTICA, "the ancient";* and before 
long she began to rival even the mother city of Tyre, 
and to lay the foundations of a colonial empire of her 

Spain seems to have been first known to the Phoeni- 

1 Mdita means a ''place of refuge," Gesenius, p. 92 ; Bochart, voL iiL 
p. 500 ; Movers, in Ersch und Graber, § iu. voL xxiv. p. 349. 

■ Kenrick, PAatnicia,p, no; Tallack, JIfaiUt, pp. 115 — 127; Movers, 
PhonUier, part iu vol. ii. p. 351. 

* The word Melek, a king, is found in all the Semitic languages. It is 
seen in the names of Melchisedek, Melchior, Abdu-1-malek, &c. 

^ It appears also in the names of Cirta, Ta-carata, Cartili, Cartenna, 
Caralis, Carpi, Carepula, Mediccara, Cura, Curum, Rusucurum, Ascurum, 
Ausocurro, Curubis, Garra, Medugarra, Tagara, Tagarata, &c. Gesenius, 
Scrip. Ling. Ph. Mon. p. 417 ; Wilton, Negeb, p. 99. A suburb ot 
Palermo anciently bore the name of Karthada. Movers, pt. IL voL ii. 
p. 30. 

' Movers, p. 139 ; Gesenius, p. 421 ; Bochart, vol. ill p. 468. 

B Bochart, vol. ill p. 474 ; Gesenius, p. 429. Movers (p. 512) doubts 
this etymology. 


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Spain. 95 

cians as the land where the skins of martens^ were 
procured, and the name Hispania or Spain appears to be 
derived from a Phoenician word sapan, or span^ which 
denotes the abundance of these animals.^ Many of the 
Phoenician colonies in Spain were Tyrian rather than 
Carthaginian, ESCALONA is, probably, the same word 
as Ascalon; and MAGUEDA is, perhaps, identical with 
Megiddo. Asido, now MEDINA SIDONIA, was, as the 
name denotes, a colony of the Sidonians.' 

Cadiz, as we learn from Velleius Paterculus, was 
founded before Utica, and consequently long before 
Carthage. The name CADIZ is a corruption of the 
ancient name Gadeira, and is referable to the Phoenician 
word gadir, an inclosure.* The site presents the features 
of other Tyrian settlements — an island separated by a 
narrow channel from the main land. The same is the 
case at Carthagena, which is built on a small island in a 
sheltered bay. The name of CARTHAGENA is a corruption 
of Carthago Nova or new Carthage ; and we may, there- 
fore, assign to it a Carthaginian rather than a Tyrian 
origin. Near Gibraltar there is another town named 
CARTEJA, anciently Carteia.* The name of MALAGA is 

1 ToXn Tofmfo'iai — smartens, or perhaps rabbits — see the passages from 
Herodotus, iv. 192 ; Strabo, ill 2, 6 ; SchoL in Aristoph. Ran. 475 ; 
^lian, V. H. xii. 4, and other writers which are quoted by Movers, part ii. 
Tol. iL p. 606. Compare Chamock, Local Etymology y p. 254. 

* Bochart, vol. iil p. 631 ; Niebuhr, Lectures on Ethfiol. and Geograph. 
voL ii. p. 279. 

* Movers, part ii. vol. ii. p. 641. 

4 Movers, p. 621 ; Gesenius, p. 304 ; Kenrick, p. 126. Compare the 
names of the iEgades Islands near Sicily, of Geder (Joshua xii. 13); 
Gedera (Josh. xv. 36) ; Gedor (Josh. xv. 38) ; and Gadara, the city of the 
Gadarenes (Josephus, Jewish War, iv. 3 ; Sl Mark v. i). See Bochart, 
ToL iiL p. 608 ; Movers, pp. 139, 549. 

* Perhaps identical with Tartessus. Duke of Buckingham, Diary, 


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96 The Phamieians, 

derived from the Phoenician word malaca^ salt^ Hispalis, 
now SEVILLA, was also a Carthaginian colony, and the 
name is deducible from a Phoenician word meaning a 
" plain." * The TAGUS is the river of fish.8 The name 
of Olisippo, which has been corrupted into LISBON, 
contains the word hippo, the ''walled'* town, which 
occurs so frequently in Phoenician names. There were 
three cities called HIPPO in Africa, one of them cele- 
brated as the See of the great Augustine, and two of the 
same name in Spain.* 

Tarraco, now TARRAGONA, is the "palace."* The 
name of CORDOVA, anciently Cortuba, may be derived 
either from cotebUy the "olive press," or from Kartha 
Baal, the "city of BaaL"« BELON, now Belonia, near 
Tarifa;' as well, perhaps, as the BALEARIC^ Isles, 
contain the name of Bel or Baal, the deity whose name 
enters into the composition of so many Tyrian and 

voL L p. 70 ; Bochart, vol. iii. p. 615 ; Olshausen, Pkon, Ortsnamen^ p. 
328 ; Smith, Dictionary, vol. i. p. 528 ; Movers, pp. 632 — 635. 

1 Bochart, vol. iii. p. 616; Movers, p. 632. Cf. Gesenius, p. 312; 
Prescott, Ferd, af id Isabella, vol. iL p. 13. 

> Bochart, p. 603 ; Gesenius, p. 423 ; Movers, p. 64.1. 

• Ford, Gatherings, p. 28. The root appears in the name of the god 

4 We have also Orippo, Belippo, Baesippo, Irippo, and LAcippo, all on 
the Spanish coast Humboldt, Priifung, p. 64 ; Movers, Phon, pt. ii. 
vol. ii. pp. 144, 640; Cf. Bochart, vol. iii. pp. 475, 627 ; Gesenius, Monum. 

p. 423. 

• Bochart, vol. iii. p. 623. 

• Bochart, vol. iii p. 602. 
7 Movers, p. 639. 

• Bochart, vol. iii. p. 634. See, however, p. 81 supra, Ehusus, now 
ivigA, means the " pine island," and the Greek name Pitusae is merely a 
translation of the earlier Phoenician appellation. Movers, Die Phimisiep^ 
p. 545 ; art. Ph'onizien in Ersch und Gruber, p. 349. The Balearic Islands 
present many Phcenician names, such as Cinici, Cunid Bocchoram, Jamna, 
Mago, and Sanifera. Movers, pp. 584, 585, 


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Britain, 97 

Carthaginian names, such as Hannibal, Asdrubal, 
Maherbal, Ethbaal^ Agbalos, Jezebel, Belshazzar, and 
Baalbec.1 There are many other places in Spain which 
seem originally to have been Carthaginian colonies, since 
their names can be explained from Punic sources. 
Such are Abdera, now ADRA; Barcino, now BARCELONA; ^ 
Ebora, now EVORA, the "ford";* Arci, now ARKOS; the 
River Anas, now the GUADIANA ; TOLEDO, and others.* 

Whether the Carthaginians reached the shores of 
Britain is uncertain. We have already seen that the 
Euskarian origin of the name makes it probable that 
the earliest knowledge of the island was obtained from 
Iberic traders ; and it certainly is not improbable that 
the Carthaginians followed in the track discovered by 
their Spanish subjects. It is a noteworthy circumstance 
that the almost unique physical characteristics of St. 
MichaeFs Mount, in Cornwall, conform precisely to the 
account given by Diodorus Siculus of the trading 
station from which the Phoenicians obtained their tin. 
We may mention, though we can hardly maintain the 
supposition, that the names of MARAZION,^ the " hill by 

* Kenrick, Phcenicia^ pp. 129, 300; Renan, Langues SSmitiques^ p. 44; 
Bochart, vol. iii. p. 634. 

* Movers, p. 636. v 

* Jb, p. 640. Cf. Gesenius, p. 422. 

^ E,g, Muigis, Urci, Certima, Saborra, Suel, Salduba, Ucia, Castalo, 
and Nebrissa. Movers, pp. 633 — 643. Gesenius, Scr. Ling, Ph. Mon, 
voL i. pp. 340, 422. 

^ Marazion seems to have been a Jewish settlement at a later time, and 
it is possible that the name may be Hebrew, rather than Phoenician. It 
can, however, be explained from Cornish sources. See Halliwell, Cornwall^ 
pp. 47 — 52 ; Pryce, Archaologia Comu-Brit, s. v. On the Phcenicians in 
Cornwall, see Wilson, PrehisL Ann, 0/ Scotland^ p. 196 ; Bochart, vol. iii. 
pp. 648 — 654 ; Turner, Anglo-Saxons, vol. i. pp. 51 — 55 ; Smith's Cassite- 
rides; and a tract on the Phoenician Tin Trade, recently published by 
Colonel James. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

08 The Phoenicians, 

the sea/' and POLGARTH (root Kartha) are of Phoenician 
origin, and are records of the first intercourse of our 
savage ancestors with the civilized world.^ 

1 On Tynan and Carthaginian names, see the erudite work of Bochart, 
Geographia Sacra pars posterior^ Cha?taan^ seu de Coloniis et sermotu 
Fhanicum, and the more trustworthy works of Movers, Du Phonizier, and 
the Article Phbtuzien in Ersch und ember's AUgemdne EncyfuopadU^ 
sect. iii. vol. xxiv. See also Kenrick's Phanicia; and the valuable treatise 
of GeseniuSy Scriptura Linguaque Phanicia Monumetita. Gesenius dis- 
cusses the etymologies of more than 4CX> names, collected from modem 
maps, the ancient itineraries, coins, inscriptions, and the ancient Geo- 
graphers, Ptolemy, Strabo, &c. 


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The Arabs in Europe, 99 



734^ Empire of the Cailiphs — Arabic Names in Southern Italy and SicUy — 

Tribes by which the conquest of Sicily was effected^Conquest of Spain — 

Tarifa and Gibraltar — Arabic article — River-names of Spain — Arcdfs in 

Southern France— They hold the passes of the Alps^The Monte Moro pass 

and its Arabic Names — The Muretto pass and Fontresina. 

The Arab conquests in the seventh and eighth centuries 
form one of the most remarkable episodes in the history 
of the world. At the time of its greatest extension, the 
empire of the Cailiphs extended from the Indus to the 
Loire. In the course of a single century they overran 
Persia, Syria, Egypt, Northern Africa, Spain, and the 
south of France. 

We find Arabic names scattered over the whole of 
this vast region ; and it will be an interesting and pro- 
fitable task to investigate these linguistic monuments of 
Moslem Empire, confining our attention more especially 
to those districts where Christianity has long resumed its 

In Southern Italy the dominion of the Arabs lasted 
hardly half a century, and consequently we cannot expect 
to find many Arabic names. Their chief conquests lay in 
the neighbourhood of the cities of Benevento and Bari, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

lOO The Arabs in Europe, 

not far from which we find the doubtful Arabic names of 
ALIFE, ALFIDENA, and the river ALMARO.^ 

In Sicily, where the Arab colonization was more ex- 
tensive, and where their empire was more enduring than 
in Italy, we naturally find more abundant and less 
doubtful traces of their presence. The well-known name 
of MARSALA means, in Arabic, the " Port of God." Gebel, 
the Arabic name for a mountain, is still retained in the 
patois of the Sicilian peasantry, who prefer the mongrel 
term mongibello to the ancient Phoenician name of 
Etna.2 From the same root comes the name of the 
GIBELLINA — a mountain ridge of the Province of Tra- 

It would appear that the Arabs kept down by mili- 
tary rule a considerable subject population, for the island 
is covered with fortresses of their erection. The position 
of these we can often discover by means of the Arabic 
word kaVahy or kaVat^ a castle on a rock — a root which 
enters into the names of many Sicilian towns, such as 
CALOTABALOTTA (Kal'at-a-bellotta, oak-tree castle*), 
CALATAGIRONE, or Caltagirone (Karat-a-Girun), CALA- 
SCIBETTA (Kal'at-a-xibetta), CALATAFIMI (KaFat-a-fieni), 
CALATAMISETTA (castle of the women), CALATAVUTURA, 

^ See Wenrich, Rerum ab Arabibus gesiantm Commmtarii^ p. 140. 

* Duff, in Oxford Essays for 1857, p. 93; Wenrich, Rer, ab Ar, gat, 
p. 309 ; Pihan, Ghssaire^ p. 136. 

' This word is not confined to the Semitic languages. We have the 
Persian K&lat or KaldtaA, a "hill castle," and the Sanskrit Kalatra 
(t Kataka)y a "fortress." Pictet, Orig. Jndo-Eur. vol. ii. p. 194. 

* Gayangos, Mohammedan Dynasties^ vol. i. p. 450 ; Wenrich, p. 308. 

* Compare the names of khelat, the capital of Beloochistan, and of 
GALATA, a walled suburb of Constantinople. YENIKALE in the Crimea is 
Yeni Kal'ah, the "new fortress"— a name half Turkish, and half Arabic. 


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Sicily. loi 

There are also in this island many Arabic names of 
villages and farms.^ The word menzily a *' station," or 
"hut," is found in MISILMERI (Menzil-Emtr), and in 
MEZZOJUSO (Menzil-Yusuf). The most common of these 
Arabic prefixes is rahly a " house," which appears in the 
names of REGALMUTO and RE-SULTANA. It occurs no 
less than one hundred and seven times, while Kal'at is 
only found in twenty names, and Menzil in eighteen* 
We have raSy a cape, in the names of RASICANZIR, the 
cape of swine, RASICALBO, the dog's cape, RASACARAMI, 
the cape of vineyards, and RASICORNO, or Cape Horn.* 
In Palermo the two chief streets bear the Arabic names 
of the CASSARO, or " Castle Street," and the maccheda, 
or " New Street,"* and we find many other Arabic names 
scattered here and there over the island, such as GODRA- 
NO, the " marsh " ; CHADRA, and CADARA, the " green " ; 
RINO ; and a few personal names, such as ABDELALI and 
ZYET.* Altogether there are in Sicily some 328 local 
names of Arabic origin, and the distribution of these is 
remarkable, as showing the relative amount of Arab in- 
fluence in different portions of the island. In the Val di 

1 As Abela says, the Arabs have left in Sicily " un gran novero di nomi 
di citt^ di terre, e di luoghi particolari." Malta Illustrata^ vol. i. p. 682. 
There are many Arabic words in the Sicilian patoisy as saliarCy to wonder, 
chamarru^ an ass, hannaca^ a necklace. The few Arabic words in Italian, 
snch as alcova^ a chamber, ammiraglioy an admiral, arsenale, an arsenal, 
and the vessels called carraca ^XiAfeluca^ were probably introduced through 
the Spanish. See Bianchi-Giovini, Dominazione degli A rati in Italia, 
pp. 55, 56 J Diez, Cram, Rom. Spr. vol. I pp. 59, 70; Duff, in Oxford 
Essays for 1857, p. 91 ; Wenrich, pp. 309—312, 323. 

« Amari, Storia dei Musulmani, vol. ii. p. 434. 

* Bianchi-Giovini, Dominazione degli Arabia p. 56 ; Wenrich, p. 308 ; 
Amari, Storia dei Musulmani, vol. ii. p. 435. 

4 Bianchi-Giovini, Domin, d, Arabia p. 57. 

' Amari, Storia dei Mustdmani, vol. ii. p. 435. " 


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I02 The Arabs in Europe, 

Mazara there are 209 Arabic names, in the Val di Noto 
100, and the Val Demone only 19.^ 

The mediaeval and modern names of Sicilian villages 
supply us with curious information as to the countries out 
of which was gathered the motley host that fought under 
the standard of the Prophet. In Sicily alone we find 
traces of tribes from Scinde, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria, 
and Spain.^ Thus, a fountain near Palermo, now called 
DENNISINNI, was anciently Ain es-Sindiy the fountain of 
Scinde. But the conquest of Sicily seems to have been 
effected, for the most part, by troops levied from the 
neighbouring continent of Africa. There are more than 
a dozen indisputable names of Berber tribes to be found 
in Sicily, chiefly in the neighbourhood of the Val di 

In the islands of Sardinia and Corsica the Arab rule 
was brief, and we find no Arabic names, except AJACCIO, 
and, perhaps, ALGHERO and ORISTAN. But Malta is full 
of Arabic names. The word mirsahy a port, which is found 
in the name of Marsala, in Sicily, appears in Malta in 
the names of numerous bays and inlets, such as MARSA 
FORNO. The ravines commonly go by the name of vyed, 
or wiedy a corruption of the Arabic word wadt} The 
hills have the prefix gebel^ the fountains aaytiy the wells 

A Amari, Storia dei Musulmanif vol. ii. p. 435. 

' The local names of Sicily, as illustrating the nationality of tfu tribes by 
which the conquest was effected, have been investigated by Amari, Storia 
dei Musulmani di Sicilian vol. ii. pp. 31 — 36, 

• Amari, Musulmani, vol. ii. p. 35. 

^ An exhaustive enumeration and explanation of the names in Malta is to 
be found in a work called Malta Illustratay Ouvero descrizione di Malta con 
sue antickith^ ed altre notitie, by F. Giovaniiancesco Abela, vol. L pp. 


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Malta. 103 

bir, the castles cala^ the houses deyr, the caves ghar, the 
villages raJial^ the capes ras. From the map of the 
island it would be easy to collect scores of such names 
as AAYN rL KEBIRA, the great fountain; aayn TAIBA, 
the good fountain ; GEBEL OOMAr, the mountain of 
Omar; RAS EL TAFAL, Chalk Cape. In the neigh- 
bouring isle of Gozo we find the Arabic village-names 

Among the peasants of Malta and Gozo a corrupt 
Arabic patois still holds its ground against the Lingua 
Franca, the Italian, and the English which threaten to 
supplant it^ 

Of the island of Pantellaria the Duke of Buckingham 
says, " the language spoken is a bad Italian, mixed up 
with a bastard Arabic. All the names of places, head- 
lands, and points, are pure Arabic, and every hill is 
called ghibel something." ^ 

In no part of Europe do we find such abundant 
vestiges of the Arab conquest as in Spain and Portugal. 
The long duration of the Arab rule — nearly eight 
centuries — is attested by the immense number of 
Arabic local names, as compared with the dozen or 
half-dozen that we find in Italy, France, or Sardinia, 
whence they were soon expelled. 

1 See Tallack's Malta, p. 246. It has been asserted by Michaelis, Majus, 
and other writers, that the Maltese dialect contains many Punic words, and 
contains traces of Punic grammar. This is denied by Gesenius. See his 
Versuch ilber die Maitesische Spracke zur Beurthaiung der netUick wieder- 
hoklUn Behauptung dass sie ein Ueberrest der Altpunischen sey. He allows 
that there are many Berber or Moorish words mingled with the Arabic, but 
none clearly to* be referred to the time of the Carthaginian conquest The 
same conclusion, substantially, is arrived at by Kosegarten, in Hofei^s 
Zeitschrifty voL ii. pp. I, 30, and by Renan, Langties SSmitiqtm, pt. i, 

p. 413. 

« Private Diary ^ vol. ii. p. 139, 


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104 ^^^ Arabs in Europe, 

The very names of the first invaders are conserved in 
local memorials. In September, a.d. 710, Tarif-Abu- 
Zar'ah, a Berber freed-man, effected a landing at a 
place which has ever since been called after him — 
TARIFA. He was quickly followed by Tarik-Ibn- 
Zeyad,^ a liberated Persian slave, who, at the head of 
a body of light horsemen, advanced, in a few weeks, 
some seven hundred miles across the peninsula, as far as 
the Bay of Biscay. This bold chieftain landed in the 
Bay of Algeziras,* and he has left his name pn the 
neighbouring rock of GIBRALTAR, which is a corruption 
of the Arabic name Gebel-al-Tarik, the "Mountain of 

The accompanying sketch-map will serve to give a 
rough notion of the distribution of the Arabic names 
upon the map of Spain. Unfortunately, owing to the 
smallness of the scale, it has been impossible to indicate 
the position of more than a proportion of the names. 

These local linguistic monuments make it easy for us 
to distinguish those districts where the Arab population 
was most dense. The Arabic names are seen to cluster 
thickly round Lisbon and Valentia ; and in the neigh- 

1 Mariana and Conde assert the identity of these two chieftains, but the 
latest and best authority on the subject, Reinaud, in his Itwasuni des 
SarazinSf pp. 432, 433, has vindicated the accuracy of Gibbon, and has 
conclusively shown that Tarif and Tarik were separate personages. See 
also Gayangos, vol. i. pp. 264—289, 318, 517; Sayer, Hist. 0/ Gibraltar, 
pp. 5, 6; Murphy, Mahomdan Empire, pp. 53 — 59; Conde, Dominacion, 
pp. 14, 15 ; Pihan, Ghssaire, p. 137. 

* Algeziras means ** the island." By the Arabic chroniclers it is called 
Jezurah al-Khadhra, "the green island." Gayangos, vol. i. pp. 317, 517 ; 
Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella, vol. i. p. 398 ; Sayer, Hist, of Gibraltar^ 
p. 8. ALGIERS is a corruption of the same name, Al Jezirah, a name which 
has also been given to Mesopotamia — the peninsula between the Tigris and 
the Euphrates. 


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Distribution of Arabic Names. 


bourhood of Seville, Malaga, and Granada,^ the last 
strongholds of the Moslem kingdom, they are also very 


numerous; but as we approach the Pyrenees, and the 
mountains of Galicia and the Asturias, these vestiges of 

1 ContnuT" to what might have been supposed, we find that the Arabic 
names in the immediate vicinity of Granada are relatively less numerous 
than in some other places, as the neighbourhoods of Valencia and Seville. 
This is probably due to the forced eviction of the inhabitants of Granada 
under Ferdinand and Isabella, and the wholesale substitution of a large 
Chxistian population ; whereas in the case of earlier conquests, the Arab 
population, being allowed to remain tiU gradually absorbed, succeeded in 
transmitting the greater number of the local names. 


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io6 ' The Arabs in Europe, 

Moslem rule entirely disappear, and are replaced by- 
names derived from 'the Basque, Celtic, and Spanish 

An obvious feature which characterizes the local 
nomenclature of Spain and Portugal, is the prevalence 
of the Arabic definite article al^ which is prefixed to 
a very large proportion of names, such as Alicant, 
Albuera, Almanza, Alcala, Almarez, Almeida, Alham- 
bra, and Algoa. On the maps of the Peninsula pub- 
lished by the Useful Knowledge Society, there appear 
about two hundred and fifty names containing this 
prefix. Of these sixty-four per cent, are found to the 
south of the Tagus, and only thirty-six per cent, to the 
north of that river. 

The Spanish river-names beginning with Guad are 
very numerous. In Palestine and Arabia this word 
appears in the form wadt} a "ravine," and hence a 
" river." The name of the GUADALQUIVIR is a cor- 
ruption of Wadi-1-Kebtr, the great river — a name which 
is found also in Arabia. We have also the river-names 
GUADALCAZAR, which IS Wadi-1-Kasr, the river of the 
palace ; GUADALHORRA, from Wadi-1-ghar, the river of 
the cave; GUADARRANKE, from Wadi-1-ramak, the 
mare's river; GUADALQUITON, from Wadi-1-kitt, the cat 
river ; GUADALAXARA, from Wadi-1-hajarah, the river of 
the stones; GUAROMAN, from Wadi-r-roman, the river 
of the pomegranate-trees ; GUADALAVIAR, from Wadi-1- 
abyadh, the white river; GUADALUPE, the river of the 
bay ; GUALBACAR, the ox river ; GUADALIMAR, the red 
river; guadarama, the sandy river; guadaladiar, 

* This word appears to have been adopted by the Greeks, and comipted 
into the form taxri^. Renan, Lang, SirnU, pt. i. p. 205. Cf. Peyron, 
Lexicon Copt. p. 160. 


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Arabic Names in Spain, 107 

the river of houses ; and the more doubtful names of 
GUADAIRA, the river of mills; guadalertin, the 
muddy river; and GUADALBANAR, the river of the 
battle-field. We have also the GUADIANA and the 
GUADALETE, which embody the ancient names of the 
Anas^ and the Lethe.^ 

The name of MEDINA, which means "city," appears 
not only in Arabia* and Senegambia, but also five 
times in Spain.* The word kaFahy a castle, which we 
have traced in Sicily and Malta, is found in calatayud, 
"Job's castle,"^ in Aragon; calahorra, the ''fort of 
stones," « in Old Castile ; and CALATRAVA, the " Castle 
of Rabah," ^ in New Castile. There are also half a dozen 
places called ALCALA, which is the same word with the 
definite article prefixed. 

Such names as benavites, beniajar, benarraba, 


1 The name of the Anas is Phoenician according to Bochart, vol. iii. 
p. 627, but it is capable of a Celtic etymon. 

* We find also the rivers Guadafion, Guadehenar, Guadajor, Guadalbarro, 
GoadalbuUon, Guadalcana, Guadalerce, Guadalertin, Guadaleste, Guadal- 
mallete, Guadalmedina, Guadalmelera, Guaderriza, Guedaxira, Guadazamon, 
Gnadazelete, Guadacenas, Guadetefra, Guadarmena, Guadalfeo, Guad- 
almez, Guadalcalon, and others, the names of which are elucidated with 
more or less success by Gayangos, Weston, and De Sousa. 

* Yathrib, the city to which Mohammed fled from Mecca, bore thence- 
forward the name of Medtnet-ennabi, the dty of the prophet Caussin de 
Perceval, Histoire des Arabes^ voL iii. p. 21. 

^ Medinaceli, Medina Sidonia, &c. Pihan, p. 200 ; Prescott, Ferd, and 
/sab. vol. i. p. 398. 

• Built by the chieftain Ayub, or Job, who took a foremost part in the 
conquest, and was afterwards Governor of Spain. Conde, Dominacion, 
pp. 30 — ^33 ; Gayangos, vol. i. p. 373; Weston, Remains of Arabic in the 
Spanish and Portuguese Langtiages, p. 143 ; De Sousa, Vestigios da Lingua 
Arabica em Portugal ^ p. 4. 

• Weston, p. 145. 

^ Gayangos, vol. ii. p. 356. Cf. Weston, p. 146. 


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io8 Tfu Arabs in Europe, 

may embody curious information as to the names of the 
original Arab settlers, for the first syllable of such names 
is the patronymic Beni, " sons," and the remainder is a 
personal or tribal appellation.^ 

But the great mass of Hispano- Arabic names are 
descriptive terms, relating to the artificial or natural 
features of the country. Such are the names ALBORGE, 
the turret; ALBUFEIRA, the lake;^ ALMEIDA, the table; 
ALCACOVA, the fortress (a common name); almanza, 
the plain ; ^ ALPUXARRAS, the " grassy" mountains ; * 
ALMENA,^ the battlemented tower ; ALMAZEN, the store- 
house;* ALMADEN,^ the mine; ALHAMBRA, the red;* 
ALGARBE, the west ; ® ARRECIFE, the causeway ; ^^ alma- 
ZARA, the mill;^i ALCAZAR, the palace; ALDEA, the 
village; ALCANA, the exchange;" ALCANTARA, the 
bridge ;^^ ALQUERIA, or ALCARRIA, the farm;^* and 

^ On the inferences to be drawn from Spanish names as to the nation- 
alities of the Moslem settlers, see Gayangos, voL i. pp. 356 ; vol. ii pp. 
20 — 29, 402, 403, 442. On the prefix Beni^ see Wilton, Negeb^ p. 14a 

• A corruption of Al-bukeyrah, Gayangos, vol. i. p. 374. 

« Gayangos, vol. i. p. 354 ; vol. ii. p. 515 ; Chamock, Loc, Etym, p. 28. 

• Prescott, Ferd» and Isab. p. 398. 

• From the same root comes the word minaret, Weston, p. 61. 

• From the same root comes the word magazine, De Sousa, p. 45 ; 
Chamock, Loc, Etym, p. 8 ; Weston, p. 60 ; Engelmann, Glossaire, p. 52. 

' The greatest quicksilver mine in Europe. Engelmann, p. 47. 
" De Sousa, p. 38 ; Weston, p. 54 ; Pihan, p. 31 ; Murphy, Mahometan 
Empire in Spain, p. 19 1. 

• De Sousa, p. 35 ; Weston, p. 53 ; Pihan, p. 29 ; Conde, Dominacion^ 
p. 671. 

'^^ Prescott, Ferd. and Isab, p. 398 ; Engelmann, p. 62. 

" Gayangos, vol. ii. p. 541. 

^ From the same root come dogana and danane, Pihan, p. 113; Weston, 

p. 45- 

*• Pihan, p. 24 ; De Sousa, p. 22 ; Gayangos, voL i. pp. 61, 370 ; 
Weston, p. 44. 

" Gayangos, vol. i. p. 353 ; Conde, p. 671 ; Engelmann, p. 23. 


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Arabic Names in Spain, 109 

TRAFALGAR {Taraf al'ghar)y the promontory of the 

A large number of Hispano-Arabic names are illus- 
trated in Weston's " Remains of Arabic in the Spanish 
and Portuguese languages," and in Pihan's "Glossaire 
des Mots Fran^ais tirds de TArabe, du Persan, et du 
Turc" A competent and exhaustive investigation of 
these names has, as far as I am aware, never been 
attempted ; and it would, undoubtedly, supply materials 
of great value to the historian of the conquest. The 
Arabic names in Portugal have been well discussed by 
Fr. Joao de Sousa, in a work entitled, "Vestigios da 
Lingua Arabica em Portugal." ^ 

Flushed by the ease and rapidity of their Spanish 
conquest, the Arabs crossed the Pyrenees, and spread 
their locust swarms over the southern and central 
regions of France, as far as Tours. In the neighbour- 
hood of this city, in the year 732, Charles Martel gained 
one of the great decisive battles which have changed the 
current of the world's history, and the almost total 
destruction of the Moslem host rescued western 
Christianity from the ruin which seemed to be im- 
pending. After this event the fugitives seem to have 
retired into Provence, where they maintained a preca- 
rious sovereignty for some thirty years. 

In the Department of the Basses Pyr^n^es we find 
some vestiges of these refugees. At Oloron, a town 

1 See p. 103, supra ; and Gayangos, vol. i. p. 320. 

' On Spanish words of Arabic origin, see Diez, Gram, d, Rom, Spr, 
vol. i. pp. 70, 333 ; Gayangos, History of the Mohammedan Dynasties in 
Spain, vol. ii. pp. xxxvi. clxix. dxx. ; and vol. i. p. 487 ; and Engelmann, 
Glossaire des Mots Espagnols et Portugais dMvis de VArabe, whose lists 
contain about 400 Spanish and Portuguese words derived from the Arabic. 


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1 10 The Arabs in Europe, 

not far from Pau, is a fountain called LA HOUN (airi) 
DEOUS MOUROUS, or the fountain of the Moors; and 
in a neighbouring village, which bears the name of 
MOUMOUR, or Mons Mauri, there stands a ruined tower 


FONTARABlE, in the Department of the Charente 
Infirieure, marks a kind of oasis in the sandy desert of 
the Landes, and, like Fontarabia on the Bidassoa, may- 
have been a station of the Arabs.* 

In \}[i^ patois of south-eastern France there are several 
words of Arabic origin,^ while down to the seventeenth 
century, many families of Languedoc, descended from 
these Moors, bore the name of "Marranes." In 
Aiivergne also there is a pariah race called Marrons, 
whose conversion to Christianity has given the French 
language the term marrane^ " a renegade." * 

After an interval of more than a century, the Moorish 
pirates, who had long infested the coast of Provence, 
established themselves in the stronghold of Fraxinet, 
near Frejus (a.D. 889), and held in subjection a large 
part of Provence and Dauphiny. The FORl&T des 
MAURES, near Frejus, is called after them; and the 
names of PUY MAURE and MONT MAURE, near Gap, 
of the COL DE MAURE, near Chiteau Dauphin, and 
of the whole county of the MAURIENNE, in Savoy, 
are witnesses of the rule in France^ of these Moorish 

1 Michel, Hist des Races Maudites^ vol. ii. p. 98. 

* In this latter case much may be said in favour of the etymology Fuente 
Rabia — Fons Rabidus, or rapidus. Salverte, Essai sur Us Noms^ voL ii. 
p. 264. 

> A list will be found in Astruc, Hist Nat, de Languedoc, pp. 494 — 497. 

• Michel, R<ues Maudites, vol. ii. pp. 45, 96. 

" On the subject of the Moors in France, see Reihaud, Invasion des 


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Moors in France, in 

In the tenth century the Moors still held the Mau- 
rienne, and in the year 911, by a convention with Count 
Hugo of Provence, they crossed the Cottian Alps, and 
took possession of the passes of the Pennine chain, 
which they guarded for Count Hugo's benefit, while 
they levied black mail on travellers for their own. In 
the years 921 and 923, and again in 929, the chroniclers 
record that English pilgrims, proceeding to Rome, were 
attacked by Saracens while crossing the Alps. The 
bishops of York, Winchester, Hereford, and Wells were 
among those who thus suffered.^ In the year 973 St. 
Majolus, Abbot of Cluny, was taken prisoner by these 
marauders at Orsi^res, on the pass of the Great St. 
Bernard, and he could only obtain his freedom by the 
payment of a ransom, which consisted of a thousand 
pounds' weight of the church plate of Cluny .^ 

Such are the few meagre historical facts relating to 
the Arabs in the Alps which we are able to glean from 
mediaeval chroniclers ; fortunately, it is possible to 
supplement our knowledge by the information which 
has been conserved in local names. The mountain to 
the east of the hospice on the Great St. Bernard bears 
the name of MONT MORT, which there is reason for be- 
lieving to be a corruption of Mont Maure. If this name 

Sarazins en France^ passim ; Bouche, Histoire de Provence^ vol. i. pp. loi, 
204 ; Palgrave, Normandy and England^ vol. i. p. 416 ; Bianchi-Giovini, 
Dominatione degli Arabia pp. 25, 26 ; Gayangos, vol. i. p. 228 ; Wenrich, 
Rer, ab Arab, gest, pp. 123, 144 — 146; Papon, Histoirede Pfovence^ vol. ii. 
pp. 77, 146, 165. 

1 The capture of S. Elphege is related by Osbem, Vit. S. Elpheg. apud 
Thmpp, Anglo-Saxon Home^ p. 247. Cf. St. John, Four Conquests of 
England^ vol. i. p. 326. 

• Reinaud, Invasion des Sarazins en France, p. 166; Wenrich, Rer. Arab, 
p. 147. 


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1 1 2 The A tabs in Europe, 

stood alone, we might hardly feel ourselves justified in 
connecting it with the local traditions which refer to the 
Arabs in the Alps. We find, however, that the name 
MONTE MORO, the "Moor's Mountain," is attached to 
another pass which was much frequented in early times,^ 
before the great roads of the St. Gothard, the Simplon, 
and the Spliigen had been constructed. Though no 
direct historical evidence of the fact exists, it seems 
impossible not to believe that this pass of the Monte 
Moro must have been held by these "Saracens," or 

In the first place, we find that a strong position, which 
commands the passage up the Val Anzasca on the 
Italian side of the pass, is called CALASCA — z. name 
which is apparently derived from the Arabic kaVah, a 
castle, which occurs in the Alcalas and Calatas of Spain 
and Sicily. The peak opposite Calasca is called Piz 
DEL MORO. On the other side of the valley is the cima 
DEL MORO, beneath which lies the hamlet of MORGHEN. 
Crossing the Moro pass, the first hamlet we arrive at 
is placed on a mountain spur or terrace, which com- 
mands the view both up and down the valley. This 
place is called almagel, which, on the hypothesis of an 
Arab occupation, would be a most appropriate name, 
since al mahal denotes in Arabic " the station," or " the 
halting-place." A high grassy mound, probably the 
terminal moraine of an ancient glacier, is called the 
TELLIBODEN, the first syllable of which name seems to 

^ A paved Roman road exists beneath the snows of the Monte Moro. In 
the i6th and 17th centuries a great permanent extension of the Nev^ took 
place in the neighbourhood of Monte Rosa, which has brought the summit 
of the Moro above the summer snow-line, and rendered the Moro impassable 
for mules. Lyell, Antiq, o/Man, p. 292 ; Murray, Handbook for Switser^ 
land, p. 490. 


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The Arabs in the Alps, 113 

be the Arabic word tell^ a round hill. The neighbouring 
pasture goes by the name of the matmark, the ancient 
form of which was Matmar, or the " Moor's Meadow." 
Close by is another pasture called the EYEN — a name 
which is pronounced in exactly the same way as the 
Arabic ain, a " fountain," or " source of waters " — a very 
apposite description, as will be admitted by all those 
Alpine tourists who, before the recent construction of a 
road, have splashed across it, ankle deep, for some 
hundred yards. 

Passing the DISTEL Alp — a doubtful Arabic name — 
we find the valley completely barred by an enormous 
glacier. This is called the alalein Glacier, and the 
Arabic interpretation of the name, Aid *l atn, or "Over 
the source," gives a most graphic picture of the preci- 
pitous wall of ice, with the torrent of the Visp rushing 
from the vast cavern in its side. 

Opposite Almagel, and a little to the n9rth of the 
Alalein Glacier, are the MISCHABEL HORNER, three 
peaks, the midmost of which, the Dom, is the loftiest 
summit in Switzerland.^ The latter part of the name 
Mi-schabel is pronounced almost exactly in the same 
way as the Arabic gebel, a mountain. The genius of the 
Arabic language would, however, require gebel to be a 
prefix rather than a suffix, but it is quite possible that 
Mischabel may be a hybrid formation, akin to Mon- 
gibello in Sicily .^ Or we may derive the name from the 
Arabic word, migbdl, which means, according to Freytag, 
** crassus, ut mons." The conquerors of the East, we 
may well believe, brought with them the word dome. 

^ Mont Blanc is in France — Monte Rosa partly in Italy. 
• See p. lOO, supra. 


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1 14 The Arabs in Europe. 

which Jerome tells us was, in Palestine and Egypt, the 
universal designation of a house roof.^ 

The northern outlier of the Mischabel range is called 
the BALFRAIN, a name whose Arabic interpretation — 
" the peak with two river sources " — describes the twin 
glaciers which hang from the flanks of the mountain, and 
send their tributary streams to join the Visp.- 

It is probable that the etymologies assigned to some 
of these names may be fallacious, but the cases are too 
numerous, and the accordances with the physical features 
of the spot are too precise, to allow us to explain them 
away altogether by any hypothesis of accidental coinci- 
dence of sound ; and, therefore, though we may not be 
able to find any historical evidence whatever that the 
Moro was one of those passes which were occupied by 
Count Hugo's Moors, yet it seems impossible not to 
believe, on the evidence of the names alone, that the pre- 
sent inhabitants of the Saas Valley are descended from 
the marauders from the Maurienne. ' 

The third of the passes which in ancient times formed 
the chief communication between Italy and the North, 
was that which connects the Lake of Como with the 
Engadine. This, also, it would seem, was occupied by 
the Arabs. Near the summits of the St Bernard and of 
the Moro we have the Mont Mort and the Piz del Moro ; 
and so, near the summit of the Maloja and MURETTO 
passes we have the Piz muretto, the PIZ mortiratsch, 
and the Piz morter. Descending the pass on the 
northern side, we come to a very ancient stone bridge of 
one arch, springing from rock to rock across a narrow 

^ See Ducange sub voc. Vol. ii. p. 901. 

' In the neighbourhood we find the names Jazi, Fee, Saas, Balen, and 
others, which may possibly be traceable to Arabic roots. 


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Poniresina, 115 

chasm. This place is called PONTRESINA, which seems 
to be a corruption of Ponte Saracina, the Saracens* 
bridge. The village of Pontresina is composed of solid 
stone houses, Spanish rather than Swiss in their appear- 
ance. Five minutes' walk from the village, we come to 
an ancient five-sided stone tower called SPANIOLA. In 
documents of the twelfth and fourteenth centuries we 
find mention of families inhabiting this valley bearing 
the names De Ponte Sarisino, Sarracino, Sarazeno, and 
the like. Saratz is still a very common surname in the 
district, and those bearing it claim descent from the 
Saracens, and possess a marked oriental type of feature.^ 
A Herr Saratz is now president of the Gotthaus Bund, 
the Eastern division of the Grisons. 

In the neighbourhood of Pontresina there are several 
names apparently of Arabic origin, such as SAMADEN, 
EIN, and the Val ain-AS. The river which flows from 
the Maloja on the Italian side is called the MAIRA. 
Near the Swiss frontier a barrier of roches moutonies 
blocks up this valley so completely that it has been 
necessary to excavate a considerable tunnel through the 
rock to admit of the passage of the road. On the sum- 
mit of this admirable defensive position stands a ruined 
castle, which goes by the name of Castel MURO, and an 
ancient building by the side of the castle exhibits certain 
Saracenic features which are in striking contrast with the 
Italian architecture around.* 

I Lechner, Piz Languard^ pp. 12, 13. There are also at Bergamo 
families called Saratz. 

* In the summer of 1862 I made diligent inquiries of the peasantry in the 
neighbourhood of Castel Muro, but could discover no traditions of Saracenic 
occupation resembling those which are current at Pontresina. 

I 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 16 The Arabs in Europe. 

To the west of Pontresina is the SCALETTA pass, 
which leads to the valley of the Upper Rhine. A local 
tradition affirms that the Scaletta owes its name to the 
bleaching skeletons of a band of marauding Moors from 
Pontresina, who were defeated by the men of Chur, and 
whose corpses were left strewn over the mountain side 
where they fell in the attempted flight across the pass. 
The encounter is supposed to have taken place at the 
foot of the pass, on the western side, where there is a 
pasture which still goes by the name of KRIEGSMATTEN, 
the " battle field." Whether there be truth in this tradi- 
tion or not,^ it testifies to the popular belief in the 
existence of a Moorish colony in the valleys of the Ber- 
nina, and it harmonizes well with the curious evidence 
supplied by the still existing local names.* 

^ More probably the Scaletta is the " Staircase" pass. 

' On the subject of the Moors in Switzerland, see Engelhardt, Dcu Monte 
Rosa undMatterhom Gebirg; Lechner, Piz Languard, pp. 12, 13; Reioaud, 
Invasum desSarazins; Wenrich, Rerumab Arabibus gestarum Commentarii ; 
Stanley, Sinai and Palcstim, p. 15. 


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England is tlu land of inclosures. 117 



Englandis the land of inclosures^ — This denoted by the character of Anglo- 
Saxon Names which end in ^'ton,'' ''yard^' *' worth,'* ''fold;' *' hay,'' 
and **bury" — Ham, the home — The Patronymic **ing" — Teutonic clans 
— Saxcn colony near Boulogne — Saxon settlement in England began before 
the departure of the Romans — Early Frisian settlement in Yorkshire — Litus 
Saxonicum near Caen — German Tillage-names in France and in Italy — 
Patronymics in Westphalia, Franconia, and Swabia — Seat of the '^ Old- 

England is pre-eminently the land of hedges and in- 
closures. On a visit to the Continent almost the first 
thing the tourist notices is the absence of the hedgerows 
of England. The fields, nay even the farms, are bounded 
only by a furrow. The bare shoulders of the hills offend 
an eye familiar with the picturesque wooded skyline of 
English landscape, the rectangular strips of cultivation 
axe intolerable, and the interminable monotony of the 
plains, varied only by the straight rows of formal poplars 
■which stretch for miles and miles by the side of the 
chatiss^e, is inexpressibly wearisome to those who have 
been accustomed to quaint, irregular crofts, and tall, 
straggling hedgerows, twined with clematis and honey- 
suckle — 

" Little lines of sportive wood run wild," 

overshadowed here and there by gnarled oaks and giant 


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1 1 8 Tlie Anglo- Saxof IS, 

And if we compare the local names in England with 
those on the Continent, we shall find that for more than 
a thousand years England has been distinctively and 
pre-eminently the land of inclosures. The suffixes which 
occur most frequently in Anglo-Saxon names denote an 
inclosure of some kind — something hedged, walled in, or 
protected. An examination of these names shows us 
that the love of privacy, and the seclusiveness of character 
which is so often laid to the charge of Englishmen, pre- 
vailed in full force among the races which imposed names 
upon our English villages,^ Those universally recurring 
terminations totif ham? worth, stoke^ fold, garth, fark, 
burgh, bury, brough, borrow, all convey the notion of in- 
closure or protection. The prevalence of these suffixes 
in English names proves also how intensely the nation 
was imbued with the principle of the sacred nature of 
property,^ and how eager every man was to possess some 
spot which he could call his own, and guard from the 
intrusion of every other man. Even among those por- 
tions of the Teutonic race which remained on the Conti- 
nent, we do not find that this idea of private right has 
been manifested in local names to the same extent as 
in England. The feeling, seems, indeed, to have been 
more or less enchorial, for we find strong indications of 
it even in the pure Celtic names of Britain. Probably 

1 This characteristic of the Teutonic race did not escape the acute obser- 
vation of Tacitus. Colunt discreti ac diversi, ut fons, ut campus, ut nemus 
placuit. Vicos locant, non in nostrum morem conhexis et cohxrentibus 
aedificiis : suam quisque domum spatio circumdat Germania, § i6. 

* The overwhelming number of surnames derived from these local suffixes 
is witnessed by the saw preserved by Verstegan : — 

In Foord, in Ham, in Ley, in Tun, 
The most of English surnames run. 

Restitution of Decayed Intelligence, p. 326. 

• See Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, p. 71. 


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The Suffix '' ton.'' 119 

more than one half of the Celtic names in Wales and 
Ireland contain the roots llaUy kil or bally^ all of which 
originally denoted an inclosure of some kind. The 
Teutonic suffixes which do not denote inclosures, such as 
gaUy dorf^ kbeUy fiausen, stadty and steitiy all so numerous 
in Germany, are not reproduced in England to anything 
like the same extent as on the Continent. * It would 
seem, therefore, that the love of inclosure is due more 
or less to the Celts who were gradually absorbed among 
the Saxon colonists. 

The suffix ton constitutes a sort of test-word by which 
we are enabled to discriminate the Anglo-Saxon settle- 
ments. It is the most common termination of English 
local names ; and although it is a true Teutonic word, 
yet there is scarcely a single instance of its occurrence 
throughout the whole of Germany.^ It appears in two 
small Anglo-Saxon settlements on the French coast,^ 
and it is found not unfrequently in Sweden' — a fact which 
may lead to the establishment of a connexion, hitherto 
unsuspected, between the Anglo-Saxon colonists of 
England and the tribes which peopled eastern Scandi- 

The primary meaning of the suffix ton is to be sought 
in the Gothic tains^ the old Norse teimiy and the Frisian 

1 We have, however, Altona, near Hamburg, and Ost- and West-tonne 
in Westphalia. 

' E.g, Colincthun, Alencthun, and Todincthun. See pp. 133 ; and 
Appendix B. 

■ E.g. Eskilstuna, Sollentuna, Wallentuna, Sigtuna, and Frotuna. See 
Bender, Ortsnameriy pp. '54, 135 ; Forstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuch^ 
vol. ii. p. 141 4; Pott, Personen-Namen^ p. 76. 

* Sweden takes its name from the Suiones who peopled it. The Suiones 
are probably identical with the Suevi or Swabians who, as will be shoMm, 
contributed largely to the Teutonic colonization of England. 

* The root is widely diflused through the Aryan languages. Compare 


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1 20 The A nglO'Saxons, 

tincy all of which mean a twig — a radical signification 
which survives in the phrase ** the tine of a fork.** We 
speak also of the tines of a stag's horns. In modern 
German we find the word 3<<un, a hedge, and in Anglo- 
Saxon we have the verb tynan, to hedge. Hence a tun, 
or ton, was a place surrounded by a hedge, or rudely 
fortified by a palisade.^ Originally it meant only a 
single croft, homestead, or farm, and the word retained 
this restricted meaning in the time of Wicliffe. He 
translates Matt. xxii. 5, " But thei dispiseden, and wenten 
forth, oon into his toun (07/3^9), another to his mar- 
chaundise." This usage is retained in Scotland, where a 
solitary farmstead still goes by the name of the toun ; and 
in Iceland, where the homestead, with its girding wall, 
is called a ti^n} In many parts of England the rickyard 
is called the hsirton * — ^that is, the inclosure for the dear, 
or crop which the land beara There are lone farm- 
houses in Kent called Shottington, Wingleton, Godington, 
and Appleton. But in most cases the isolated ton be- 
came the nucleus of a village, and the village grew into 
a town, and, last stage of all, the word TOWN has come 
to denote, not the one small croft inclosed from the 

the Sclavonic tutftf a hedge, and even the Armenian iun, a house. See 
Diefenbach, Verglekhatdes Worterbuch, vol. ii. pp. 653, 654 ; Monkhoase, 
Etymologies y P* 13 > Kemble, Codex Diplom, vol. iii. p. xxxix. ; Leo, Angio- 
Saxon Nantes, pp. 31 — 37 ; Mone, Geschichte Heidenlhums, vol. ii. p. 95. 

^ The phrase ''hedging and tining/' for hedging and ditching, was 
current two hundred years ago. Verstegan, Restitution^ p. 326. Brush- 
wood, used for hedging, is called tinetum in law Latin. Cowel, Law 
Dictionary, sub voce Tinet ; Bailey, Dictionary, sub voce Tinetum. 

* Dufferin, Letters from High Latitudes, p. 46 ; Dasent, in Oxford Essays 
for 1858, p. 203. 

' In Iceland the bartun. There are some sixty villages in England 
called Barton or Burton ; these must have originally been only outlying 


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Names which denote inclosures. 1 2 1 

forest by the Saxon settler, but the dwelling-place of a 
vast population, twice as great as that which the whole 
of Saxon England could boast,^ 

The Anglo-Saxon yard, and the Norse equivalent 
garthy contain nearly the same idea as ton. Both denote 
some place girded round, or guarded. The word tains, 
a twig, stands in the same etymological relation to ton 
as the old English word yerde^ a switch or rod, does to 
yard, garth, and garden. The inclosure is named from 
the nature of the surrounding fence. 

The same may be said respecting stoke, another 
common suffix, which we find in BASINGSTOKE and 
ALVERSTOKE. A stoke is a place stockdAtA, surrounded 
with stocks or piles. A somewhat similar inclosure is 
denoted by the suffix fold? This was a stall or place 
constructed ol felled trees, for the protection of cattle 
or sheep. 

The Anglo-Saxon weorthig, which appears in English 
names in the form of worth, bears a meaning nearly the 
same as that of ton or garth. It denotes a place warded, 
or protected.* It was> probably, an inclosed homestead 

^ It appears from Domesday that the population of Saxon England was 
about a million and a half. Turner, Anglo-Saxons, vol. iii. p. 256. 

' In old English 9^yerde means a rod. '* Yet under the yerde was the 
maide." — Chaucer, Shipmannes Talf, A yard measure is a wand of a fixed 
length. The yards of a ship are the poles on which the sails are extended. 
Cf. the German gerie, and the Anglo-Saxon gerd. The Goths and Franks 
seem to have introduced the word jardin into the French, Spanish, and 
Italian languages. Of cognate origin are the Albanian gerdlne, the Servian 
grhdtna, the Russian ^on»/ and^(a</, and the Persian gird, a dty or fortified 
town. Diez, Etymolog, WiirUrb, p. 173; Diefenbach, Verglachendes 
Wbrttrh. vol. ii. p. 376 ; Sparschuh, BerichUgungen, p. 53 ; Pictet, Orig, 
IndO'Europ, part ii. p. 265. 

' Anglo-Saxony2i/M/. 

^ From the Anglo-Saxon warian, to ward or defend. Kemble, Codex 
Dipiom, vol. iii. p. xl^ ; Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, p. 59. A weir, which 


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122 The Anglo-Saxons. 

for the churls, subordinate to the tun. We find this 
suffix in the names of BOSWORTH, TAMWORTH, KENIL- 

A haigh, or hay^ is a place surrounded by a hedge, 
and appears, to have been usually an inclosure for the 
purposes of the chase. We find it in ROTHWELL 
HAIGH, near Leeds ; HAVE PARK, at Knaresborough ; 
and HORSEHAY, near Colebrookdale.^ The word park, 
which is of kindred meaning, seems to have been 
adopted by the Saxons from the Celtic parwgy an 
inclosed field.* 

Related to the Anglo-Saxon verb beorgany and the 
German bergen, to shelter or hide,' are the suffixes bury^ 

wards off the waters of a river, is from the same root. Wedgwood derives 
worth from the Welsh gwyrdd, green. Philolog. Proc. vol. iv. p. 260. But 
more probably both gwyrdd and worth are sister words, coming from a 
common Aryan source. Compare the Sanskrit wi, to protect, and the 
Zend vara^ a place hedged round. Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. part ii. p. 80. 

^ The HAGUE (correctly 's Gravenhage, the count's hedge) was origi- 
nally a hunting-seat of the Orange princes. Cf. the Dutch hacLg^ an in- 
closure ; the old High German hag^ a town ; the German hagen^ to hedge; 
the French haie^ a hedge ; and the English ha-ha^ and A<z7<^thom, or hedge- 
thorn. Haia is a term often used in Domesday. The source seems to be 
the Sanskrit kakscha^ which means ** bush " and also a ** fence." See Diez, 
Etym. Worterb. p. 656; Leo, Rectitudines^ p. 54; Forstemann, (htsnanun, 
p. 57 ; Ellis, Introduction to Domesday ^ p. xxxvi. The suffixes hagen and 
hain are common in Hesse. Vilmar, Ortsnamen^ p. 269. 

* The word park is common to all the Celtic and Romance languages. 
See Diez, Etym, Worterb. p. 252; Kemble, Codex Diplom, vol. iii. p. xxxv. ; 
Diefenbach, Cdtica^ i. p. 167 ; and Diefenbach, Vergleickendes IVorterbuch^ 
vol. i. p. 265, where the etymological affinities oi park and borough are 

' Compare the phrases to burrow in the earth ; to borrow, i.e. to obtain 
goods on security ; to bury, i.e, to hide in the earth; the bark of a tree is 
tliat which hides or covers the tnmk. The etymology of borough may be 
compared with that of the Latin oppidum^ the work. Mommsen, Hist, of 
Rome^ vol. i. p. 39. , 


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TJte Suffixes " bury '* and " ham:' 1 23 

borougky burghy brought and barrow. Sometimes these 
words denote the funeral mound which gave shelter to 
the remains of the dead, but more frequently they mean 
the walled inclosure which afforded refuge to the living. 
Since such walled places were often on the crests of 
hills, the word came to mean a hill-fortress, correspond- 
ing to the Celtic dun, Jn Anglo-Saxon a distinction 
was made betweeil beorky which answers to the German 
bergy a hill, and buruhy which is the equivalent of the 
German burgy a town. This distinctive usage is lost in 
modem English. The word Barrow} however, is gene- 
rally confined to funeral mounds. Burghy and Brought 
are Anglian and Norse, as are, probably, four-fifths of 
the boroughs^ while bury is the distinctively Saxon 

The suffix hamy which is very frequent in English 
names, appears in two forms in Anglo-Saxon docu- 
ments. One of these, hdm}* signifies an inclosure, that 

^ E.g. Tnglebarrow. 

• E.g, Jedburgh, Broughton, Brough. 

' E.g. Peterborough, Scarborough, Marlborough. 

*• This widely diffused Aryan root appears to have been introduced from 
the Teutonic into the Romance languages. To it we may refer Burgos, 
Bergamo, Cherbourg, Luxembourg, Perga, Pergamos, and scores of other 
names spread over Europe and Asia. Gothic baurgs^ Greek ^pyot. Mace* 
donian, fi6pyos. Even the Arabs borrowed burgy a fortress, from the Goths. 
See Diefenbach, Vtrg. Wort, vol. i. pp. 262 — 265 ; Diez, Rom. Gram. vol. i. 
p. 9 ; Pictet, Orig. Inda-Eur. vol. ii. p. 194 ; Kemble, Codex Diplom. 
vol. iii. p. xix. ; Hartshome, Salopia AntiqtMy pp. 245 — 247 ; Sparschuh, 
Bericht. pp. 40, 52. 

* This is, for the most part, the source of the Frisian suffix «w, which 
fringes the coast-line of Hanover and Oldenburgh. In Brunswick and 
Wolfenbiittel we find Bomi^xn, YIAum^ &c. It occurrs in Holstein and part 
of Sleswic, in the Danish islands Sylt and Fohr, and in the Frisian colony 
in Yorkshire. See p. 138, infra. Latham, English. Lang. vol. i. pp. 
125 — 130 ; Ethncl. Brit. Is. p. 182. The suffix um is sometimes only the 
sign of the dative plural. 


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1 24 The A ngloSaxons, 

which hems in ^ — a meaning not very different from that 
of ton or worth. These words express the feeling of 
reverence for private right, but ham involves a notion 
more mystical, more holy. It expresses the sanctity of 
the family bond ; it is the HOME,^ the one secret (fle^rim) 
and sacred place. In the Anglo-Saxon charters we 
frequently find this suffix united with the names of 
families — never with those of individuals.' This word, 
as well as the feeling of which it is the symbol, was 
brought across the ocean by the Teutonic colonists, and 
it is the sign of the most precious of all the gifts for 
which we thank them. It may indeed be said, without 
exaggeration, that the universal prevalence throughout 
England of names containing this word HOME, gives us 
the clue to the real strength of the national character of 
the Anglo-Saxons. It has been well observed that it 
was this supreme reverence for the sanctities of domestic 
life which gave to the Teutonic nations the power of 
breathing a new life into the dead bones of Roman 

The most important element which enters into Anglo- 
Saxon names yet remains to be considered. This is 

^ Several Bedfordshire villages, as Felmersham, Biddenham, and Blun- 
ham, which are almost surrounded by the serpentine windings of the Ouse, 
exhibit this suffix. See Monkhouse, Etymologies^ pp. 8— li. 

' Cf. the German heim^ home, which enters so largely into the names of 
Southern Germany. What a world of inner difference there is between the 
English word honUy and the French phrase chez nous, 

' Leo, Angh'Saxon Nantes^ p. 37. 

* Kemble, Anglo-Saxons^ vol. i. p. 231 ; Turner, Anglo-Saxons, vol. i. 
p. 189. On the suffixes hdm and ham see Kemble, Codex Diplom, voL iiL 
pp. xxvii. xxviii. ; Leo, Rectitudines, pp. 30 — 33 ; Diefenbach, i^ergleick, 
IVbrterb, vol. iL pp. 499 — 501 ; Pictet, Orig, Indo-Europ, part ii. pp. 290, 
291. With hdm compare the Gothic haims^ the Lithuanian kaimas, and 
the Greek km/ai;, a village. The ultimate root seems to be the Sanskrit f/^ 
to repose. Cf. icc«/ia< and Kot/xd^o. 


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The patronymic " ing^ 125 

the • syllable ingy It occurs in the names of a multi- 
tude ^ of English villages and hamlets, often as a simple 
suiBx, as in the case of BARKING, BRADING, DORKING, 
frequently we find that it forms the medial syllable 
of the name, as in the case of BUCKINGHAM, BIR- 

This syllable ing was the usual Anglo-Saxon 
patronymic. Thus we read in the Saxon Chronicle 
(A.D. 547):— 

Ida wses Eopping, 
Eoppa waes Esing, 
Esa waes Inguing, 
Ingui, Angenvnting. 

Ida was Eoppa's son, 
Eoppa was Esa's son, 
Esa was Ingwy's son, 
Ingwy, Angenwit's son. 

* On the root ing see Forstemann, Alt-deutsches Nanunbuch, vol. ii. p. 835 ; 
Forstemann, Ortsnameriy pp. 178, 204, 245; Grimm, Cesch, d, Deut. Spr. 
P- 775 ; Dent. Gram, vol. ii. pp. 349 — 352 ; Kemble, Saxons in England^ 
voL i. pp. 56 — 63, and 445 — 480 ; Kemble, in Philolog. Proceedings^ vol. iv. 
pp. 1 — 9; Guest, in ib. vol. i. p. 117; Pott, Persontn-Nanutty pp. 169, 
247, 553 ; Crichton, Scandinavia^ vol. i. p. 160; Zeuss, Herkunft der Baiern, 
pp. xiL xxiiL xxxv. ; Massmann, in Dorow's Denkmaler alter Sprcuhe und 
Kunsty voL i. pp. 185 — 187 ; Schott, Deut. CoL p. 21 1 ; Max Miiller, Lectures 
4m Language^ 2nd Series, p. 16 ; Latham, EthnoL Brit, Is, p. 241, seq. ; 
lAtham, Eng, Lang. vol. i. p. Ill ; Meyer, Ortsnamen, p. 139 ; Bender, 
Ortrnamen, pp. 103, 104 ; Vilmar, Ortsnamen^ pp. 264, 265 ; Buttmann, 
Ortsnameny p. 2 ; Wright, Celt, Romany and Saxony pp. 43S — ^441 ; Edinburgh 
RezneWy vol. cxi. pp. 374 — 376 ; Donaldson, English Ethnographyy p. 61. 

■ In about one-tenth of the whole number. 

s Mr. Kemble has compiled a list of 1,329 English names which contain 
this root. To ascertain the completeness of the enumeration, the Ordnance 
Maps of three counties — Kent, Sussex, and Essex — ^were carefully searched, 
and it was discovered that Mr. Kemble had overlooked no less than forty- 
seven names in Kent, thirty-eight in Sussex, and thirty-four in Essex. If 
the omissions in other counties are in the same ratio, the total number of 
these names would be about 2,200. Lai^e additions might also be made 
from Domesday Book. The Exon and Ely Domesdays alone contain thirty- 
six names not given by Mr. Kemble. 


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126 The A nglo'Saxons. 

In fact the suffix ing in the names of persons had very 
much the same significance as the prefix Ma»c in Scot- 
land, O* in Ireland, Ap in Wales, or Beni among the 
Arabs. A whole clan or tribe, claiming to be descended 
from a real or mythic progenitor, or a body of adven- 
turers attaching themselves to the standard of some 
chief, were thus distinguished by a common patronymic 
or clan ^ name. 

The family bond, which, as we have seen, was so 
deeply reverenced by the Anglo-Saxon race, was the 
ruling power which directed the Teutonic colonization 
of this island. The Saxon immigration was, doubtless, 
an immigration of clans. The head of the family built 
or bought a ship, and embarked in it with his children, 
his freedmen, and his neighbours, and established a 
family colony on any shore to which the winds might 
carry him.^ The subsequent Scandinavian colonization 
was, on the other hand, wholly or mainly effected by 
soldiers of fortune, who abandoned domestic ties at 
home, and, after a few years of piracy, settled down with 
the slave women whom they had carried off from the 
shores of France, Spain, or Italy, or else roughly wooed 
the daughters of the soil which their swords had con- 
quered.^ Thus the Scandinavian adventurers Grim, Orm, 
Hacon, or Asgar, left their names at GRIMSBY, ORMSBY, 
HACONBY, and ASGARBY; whereas in the Saxon dis- 
tricts of the Island we find the names, not of individuals, 

^ It may be observed that the etymology of the word clan proves the 
patriarchal nature of the Scottish clans. It is derived from the Gaelic 
c/uin, children. Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ, pt ii. p. 386 ; Newman, Regal 
Rorne^ p. 49- 

* See Thnipp, Anglo-Saxon Home, p. 178. 

» See Thrupp, Anglo-Saxon Home, p. 319 ; St. John, Four Con^uests^ 
vol. i. p. 306. 


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Family settlements. 127 

but of clans. It is these family settlements which are 
denoted by the syllable ing. Hence we perceive the value 
of this word as an instrument of historical research. 
In a great number of cases ^ it enables us to assign to 
each of the chief German clans its precise share in 
the colonization of the several portions of our island. 

In investigating the local topography of England, we 
constantly meet with the names of families whose deeds 
are celebrated in the mythic or legendary history of the 
Teutonic races.^ Thus members of a Frankish clan — 
the Myrgings, or Maurings, of whom we read in the 
" Traveller's Song," and who, at a later time, are familiar 
to us as the Merovingian dynasty of France — seem to 
have settled in England at MERRING in Nottingham- 
shire, and at MERRINGTON in Durham and Shropshire.^ 
The family of the Harlings, whose deeds are also 
chronicled in the " Traveller's Song," are met with at 
HARLING, in Norfolk and in Kent, and at HARLINGTON, 
in Bedfordshire and Middlesex. The families of the 

1 The syllable ing has sometimes a topographic rather than a patronymic 
signification. Thus, in the Chronicle and the Charters, mention is made of 
the CentingB, or men of Kent, the Brytfordings, or men of Bradford, and 
the Bromleagtngs, or men of Bromley. Sometimes, as Mr. Kemble and 
Dr. Massmann think, the sufhx ing has simply the force of the genitive 
singular. Kemble, in Philolog. Proc. vol. iv. pp. i — 9 ; Massmann, in 
I>orow*s Denktndler^ vol. i. p. 1 86; Forstemann, Ortsnamen, p. 178. 
Occasionally it denotes a meadow. 

* The same patronymics which occur in local names were borne by 
persons mentioned in ancient German charters and other documents. 
Forstemann collects 270 such names from documents of the eighth, ninth, 
tenth, and eleventh centuries. Alt-Deutsches Namenbuch, vol. i. p. 782. 

* Miillenhoff, in Haupt*8 Zeitschrift^ vol. vi. pp. 430 — 435 ; Kemble, 
Saxons, vol. i. p. 469 ; Zeuss, Herkunft der BaUm, p. xxxv. ; Latham, 
English Lang, vol. i. p. 221. See Mone, Geschichte Heidenikums, vol. ii. 
p. 133, for the Merovingian traditions. The Meringas are also jnentioned 
in a charter. Cod. DipL No. 809. 


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128 The A nglo' Saxons, 

Brentings, the Scylfings ^ (a Swabian race), the Banings, 
the Haelsings, the Hdcings,'* and the Scaerings, which 
are all mentioned in Beowulf or in the "Traveller's 
Song,"« are found at BRENTINGLEY, SHILVINGTON, 
SHERRINGHAM ; and the Scyldings * — ^a Danish family, 
to which Beowulf himself belonged — are found at 
SKELDING in Yorkshire. In the Edda and in Beowulf 
we read of the Waelsings,* whom we find settled at 
WOLSINGHAM in Norfolk, WOOLSINGHAM in Durham, 
and WOLSINGHAM in Northumberland. The Thurings, 
a Visigothic clan,* mentioned by Marcellinus, Jomandes, 
and Sidonius ApoUonaris, are found at THORINGTON in 
Suffolk and THORRINGTON in Essex. The Silings, a 
Vandal tribe, mentioned by Ptolemy, are found at 
SELLING in Kent. The Icelings, the noblest family of 
Mercia, are found at ICKLINGHAM in Suffolk. The 
Hastings, the noblest race of the Goths, are found at 
HASTINGLEIGH in Kent, and HASTINGS in Sussex. 
The Ardings, the royal race of the Vandals, are found at 
ARDINGTON in Berkshire, and ARDINGLEY in Sussex ; 
and a branch of the royal Visigothic family is found at 
BELTING in Kent The Irings, the royal family of the 
Avars,^ are found at ERRINGHAM in Sussex, and at 

^ MuUenhoff, in Haupt's Zeitschrift, vol. vi. p. 431. 

s The Hdcings are probably the same as the Chauci of Tadtus — the 
interchange of h to ch or w often takes place, as in the case of the CkaMx 
and /feaae. The Wokings were probably the same as the H6cings. 
Grimm, GescA. der Deut. Spr, p. 674. 

' Kemble, Saxons^ vol. i. pp. 59 — 63, and 456 — 478. 

* Miillenhoff, in Haupt*s Zeitschrift^ vol. vi p. 431. 

' The Wadsings were probably Franks. Latham, Eng. Loftg, vol. i. 
p. 226. 

> Miiller, Marken^ p. 175 ; I^atham, Naiianalities, vol. ii. p. 312. 

^ Piderit, Ortsfiamen, p. 311. 


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The Teutonic Clans. 129 

ERRINGTON in Yorkshire. The Varini, who are placed 
by Tacitus in juxtaposition with the Angli, are found 
at WARRINGTON in Lancashire and Bucks, and at 
WERRINGTON in Devon and Northamptonshire. The 
Billings, who were the royal race of the Varini,^ seem, 
as might have been anticipated, to have profited exten- 
sively by the conquest of England, for we find their 
name in no less than thirteen places, as BILLINGE, 

HURST. The iEscings, the royal race of Kent, are likewise 
found in thirteen* places. Some families seem to have 
spread much more widely than others. Of many only an 
isolated local name bears witness, some are confined to a 
single county, while the names of others, as the iEscings 
and the Billings, are spread far and wide throughout the 

Where the patronymic stands without any suffix, as in 
the case of malling, basing, or Hastings, Mr. Kemble 
thinks that we have the original settlement of the clan, 
and that the names to which the suffixes ham or ton are 

^ Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings y vol. i. p. 213. In the earliest 
records, however, the Billings are mythological rather than historical. 
The first undoubtedly historical Billing died in the year 967. The root bil 
signifies gentleness.. Billich is Equity personified. Cf. the modem German 
billigj cheap. The name Billingsgate may perhaps be thus explained. 
Grimm, Deut Mythol. p. 347. 

■ The Cyllings and the Wealings are found in twelve places; the 
Dodings, the Wittings, and the Willings, in eleven ; the Ofings in ten ; the 
Donings and the SiUings in nme ; the Edings, the Ellings, the Hardings, 
and the Lings in eight; the Fearings, the Hemings, the Herrings, the 
Holings, the Homings, the Newings, the Serings, and the Wasings in 
seven; the Cannings, the Cerrings, the Hastings, the Lullings, the 
Hannings, the Stannings, the Teddings, the Tarings, and the Withings, in 
six; the Bennings, the Bings, the Bobbings, the Caedings, the Collings, 
the Gillings, and the Stellings, in five, and the remaining 400 or 500 
patronymics in four or a smaller number of places. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 30 TJie A ngloSaxofts. 

applied mark the filial colonies sent out from this parent 
settlement. This theory is not, perhaps, altogether 
carried out by a study of the names, but it certainly 
derives considerable support from the way in which 
these patronymics are distributed throughout the Eng- 
lish counties. By a reference to the subjoined table, it 
will be seen that the names of the former class are 
chiefly to be found in the south-eastern districts of the 
island, where the earliest Teutonic settlements were 
formed, namely, in Kent, Sussex, Essex, Middlesex, 
Norfolk, Suffolk, and the adjacent counties, and that 
they gradually diminish in frequency as we proceed 
towards the northern and western counties. Still farther 
to the west, as in Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, the 
names of the former class are very rare ; those of the 
second abound. In the semi-Celtic districts of Derby- 
shire, Devonshire, and Lancashire names of either class 
become scarce, while in Cumberland, Westmoreland, 
Cornwall, and Monmouth they are wholly or almost 
wholly wanting. On Mr. Kemble's hypothesis this re- 
markable distribution of these names would accord with 
the supposition that the Saxon rule was gradually 
extended over the western and central districts by the 
cadets of families already settled in the island, and not 
by fresh immigrants arriving from abroad. 

From the lists given by Mr. Kemble the following 
table has been compiled, so as to represent the propor- 
tion of names of these two classes to the acreage of the 
several counties. The absolute numbers are not given, 
since the varying sizes of the counties would vitiate the 
results : — 


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Orig inal and filial settlements. 


^^^^ Filial 



Middlesex . . . . 




Bedfordshire . . . 
Huntingdonshire . 



Hertfordshire. . . 
Oxfordshire. . . . 
Nottinghamshire . 
Hampshire .... 
Lincolnshire . . . 
Cambridgeshire. . 
Yorkshire .... 
Dorsetshire. . . . 
Lancashire .... 










Derbyshire . . . 
Gloucestershire . 
Leicestershire . 
Warwickshire . 
Somerset . . 
Salop. . . . 
Wiltehire. . 
Devonshire . 
Rutland. . . 
Cheshire . . 
Staffordshire . 
Durham . . . 
Cumberland . 
Cornwall . . . 
Monmouth . . 



















For the preceding results no great amount of novelty 
can be claimed, since they are based mainly on the re- 
searches of Mr. Kemble, and of Professor Leo of Halle. 

But, having occasion, for another purpose, to make a 
minute examination of the .sheets of the large Govern- 
ment survey of France, I was startled by a remarkable 
phenomenon, which, so far as I can ascertain, seems 
hitherto to have escaped the notice which it deserves 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The Anglo-Saxons, 

In the old French provinces of Picardy and Artois, 
there is a small well-defined district, about the size of 
Middlesex, lying between Calais, Boulogne, and St Omer, 
and fronting the English coast, in which the name of 
almost every village and hamlet is of the pure Anglo- 
Saxon type ; and not only so, but the names are, most 
of them, identically the same with village-names to be 
found in England. To exhibit graphically the distribu- 
tion of these Saxon villages the accompanying sketch- 
map has been constructed. Each dot represents the 
position of one of the Saxon names. 



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The Saxon Colony near Boulogne, 133 

Thus we have in the 

Freruh District Corresponding English Namet. 

Wariiem V^zxhsan, Norfolk. 

Rattekot Kadcot, Oxon. 

Le Wast Wast, Gloucesttrskirey Northumberland, 

Frethun Freton, Norfolk. 

Cohen, Cuhem, and Cuhen. Cougham, Norfolk. 

Hollebeque Holbeck, Notts. ^ Yorks,^ Lincoln. 

Ham, Hame, Hames . . Ham, Kent^ Surrey^ Essex, Somerset. 

Werwick Warwick, Warwick^ Cumberland. 

Appegarbe Applegarth, Dumfries, 

Sangatte Sandgate, Kent. 

Guindal Windle, Lancashire. 

Intern Ingham, Lincoln^ Norfolk^ Middlesex. 

Oye Eye, Suffolk, Hereford^ Northmptonsh,, Oxon, 

Wimffle* Windmill, A'^. 

Grisendale Grisdale, Cumberland, Lancashire. 

We have also such familiar English forms as Gray- 
wick, the River Slack, Bruquedal, Marbecq, Longfosse, 
Dalle, Vendal, Salperwick, Fordebecques, Staple, Cre- 
hem, Pihem, Dohem, Roqueton, Hazelbrouck, and Roe- 
beck. Twenty-two of the names have the characteristic 
suffix 'ton, which is scarcely to be found elsewhere upon 
the Continent,^ and upwards of one hundred end in ham, 
heniy or hen. There are also more than one hundred 
patronymics ending in ing. A comparison of these 
patronymics with those found in England proves, be- 
yond a doubt, that the colonization of this part of 
France must have been effected by men bearing the 
clan-names which belonged to the Teutonic families 
which settled on the opposite coast.^ More than eighty 

1 Sankey, Portefeuille, p. 53, refers this very remarkable name to the 
time of the occupation of Boulogne by the English in the sixteenth century. 
I cannot doubt that it is an evidence of a much earlier connexion. 
• • Seep. ii9» Jw/rtf. 

' A few phonetic changes are worthy of notice. We find ham once or 


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1 34 The A nglo- Saxons. 

per cent, of these French patronymics are also found in 
Thus we have 

In France, In England, 

Alencthun Allington, Kent. 

Bazingham Bassingham, Line. 

Balinghem Ballingham, Hereford. 

Berlinghen Birlingham, Worcester. 

Colincthun CoUington, Sussex, 

Elingehen Ellingham, Hants. 

Eringhem Erringham, Sussex. 

Hardinghem Hardingham, Norfolk. 

Linghem . Lingham, Cheshire. 

Lozinghem Lossingham, Kent. 

Maninghem Manningham, Yorks. 

Masinghen Massingham, Norfolk, 

Pelincthun Pallington, Dorset. 

Todincthun Toddington, Bedford, 

Vdinghen Wellingham, Norfolk, 

A more detailed comparison of these patronymics will 
be found in the appendix,^ and to this the attention of 
the student is specially requested. It is confidently be- 
lieved that such a comparison will render it impossible 
not to admit that the same families which gave their 
names to our English villages must have also made a 
settlement on that part of the French coast which lies 
within sight of the English shore. 

The question now arises whether the Saxons, as they 
coasted along from the mouths of the Rhine, made the 

twice close to the coast — the usual form, however, is hem — and further 
inland it changes to hen ; while tng is sometimes changed into eng or w«r, 
SLndgay intogue. The suffix ^^ which we find in Framlingay, Gamlingay, 
&c. is found abundantly in those parts of Germany from whence the 
Saxons emigrated. It there takes the form guu. This word originally- 
denoted a forest clearing, hence aflerwards it came to mean the primary 
settlement with independent jurisdiction, like the Cymric tre/l Palgrave, 
English Commonwealth, vol. i. p. 88; Forstemann, Ortsnametiy p. 63. 
1 Appendix B. 


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Litus Saxonicum, 135 

Boulogne colony a sort of halting-place or stepping- 
stone on their way to England, or whether the French 
settlement was effected by cadets belonging to families 
which had already established themselves in this island. 

In favoyr of the latter view we may adduce the entire 
absence of Saxon names from that part of the coast 
which lies to the north-east of Cape Grisnez. Why 
should the intending settlers have passed along this 
stretch of coast, and have left it entirely untouched ? 
The map^ shows conclusively that the colonists did not 
arrive from the east, but from the west — the Saxon names 
radiate, so to speak, from that part of the coast which 
fronts England. And the names are arranged exactly 
as they would have been if the invaders had set sail from 
Hythe for the cliffs on the horizon. The district about 
St. Omer was evidently colonized by men who landed, 
not in the neighbourhood of Dunkerque, but in the neigh- 
bourhood of Boulogne.* Again, if any importance is to 
be attached to Mr. Kemble's theory of original and filial 
settlements,* the Saxon villages in France must all have 
h^^n filial settlements. We find that ing is never a mere 
suffix ; in every case it forms the medial syllable of the 

On the other hand, it may be said that these names 
mark the position of the " Litus Saxonicum in Belgica 
Secunda " — the coast settlement of the Saxons in Flan- 
ders, — ^which is mentioned in the Notitia Imperii. This 
Litus Saxonicum existed as early as the third century. 

^ See p. 132, supra, 

* As if to preclude all doubt, at some distance inland, on the northern 
border of ^e Saxon colony, we find the village of Marck, a name which 
always indicated an ethnological frontier. See Chapter X. 

' Sec p. 130, supra. 


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136 The A nglo' Saxons, 

and therefore, it may be ui^ed, its foundation must have 
been long anterior in date to the Saxon colonization of 
Britain, which, according to the chroniclers, commenced in 
the fifth century, with the arrival of Hengist and Horsa. 
Eutropius informs us that the Emperors Diocletian and 
Maximian appointed Carausius, *' apud Bononiam," 
(Boulogne) to protect the Flemish coast and the adjoin- 
ing sea, " quod Saxones infestabant." Carausius was a 
Menapian, that is, a native of the islands near the mouth 
of the Rhine.^ He was probably one of those pirates 
whose incursions he was appointed to suppress. Carau- 
sius, it would seem, entered into a compact with his 
Saxon kinsmen, and promoted their settlement, as sub- 
sidized naval colonists, in the neighbourhood of his for- 
tress at Boulogne.^ 

It may be said, in reply, that the date ordinarily as- 
signed for the commencement of the Saxon colonization 
of Britain is too late by at least a couple of centuries. 
Even in the time of Agricola the Saxon piracy had 
begun.* In the south-east of England a Saxon immigra- 
tion seems to have been going on in silence during the 
period of the Roman rule.* Without supposing, as some 

^ Palgrave, Englisk Commorrwealth^ vol. i. p. 375. 

* LAppenberg, England under the Anglo-Saxon Kings^ vol. i. pp. 
44 — 47 ; Zeuss, Die Deutschen, pp. 381, 384 ; Gough*s Camden^ vol. L 
p. 308; Leo, Vorlesungen, voL i. p. 267; Turner, Anglo-Saxons^ vol. i. 
p. 145 ; Depping, Expiditions Maritimes^ voL i. p. 84 ; Wamkonig, 
Flandriscke Staatsgeschichte^ vol. i. p. 91. 

' Poste, Britannic Researches^ p. 20. 

* Haigh, Conquest of Britain^ pp. i6i — 166. The Roman Legions 
stationed in Britain were composed mainly of Germans. This must have 
introduced a considerable German element into the population. Leo, 
Vorlesungen, vol. i. p. 268; Wright, "On the Ethnology of South 
Britain at the extinction of the Roman Government." Essays^ voL i. pp. 
70, 71- 


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Date of First Teutonic Settlement in England, 137 

inquirers have done, that the Belgae, whom Caesar found 
in Britain, were Low Germans in blood and speech, we 
may suppose that, after the extermination of the Iceni, 
the desolated lands of Eastern Britain were occupied 
by German colonists. In Essex and Suffolk there is 
a smaller proportion of Celtic names than in any other 
district of the island, and this would indicate that the 
Germanization of those counties is of very ancient date. 
Gildas, Nennius, and Beda, among all their lamentations 
over the "destruction of Britain" by the Jutish and 
Saxon invaders, are strangely silent as to any settlements 
on the eastern coast, where, from gec^raphical considera- 
tions, we might have expected that the first brunt of 
invasion would be felt While we can trace the progress 
of the Saxons in the western and central districts of 
England, with respect to the east both the British bards 
and the Saxon chroniclers are dumb. They tell us of no 
conquests, no defeats.^ Descents had, however, been 
made, for we learn from Ammianus Marcellinus that, 
nearly a century before the date assigned by Beda for 
the landing of Hengist and Hprsa, London was taken by 
Saxon invaders, who slew the Duke of Britain and the 
Count of the Saxon shore. 

This name alone might suffice to set the question at 
rest. Even before the time of Constantine, there was in 
England, as well as in Flanders, a Litus Saxonicum, or 
Saxon coast settlement, which extended from Brancaster 
in Norfolk as far as Shoreham in Sussex.* The Roman 
names of the places in this district seem in some cases 

* Palgrave, English Commonwealthf vol. i. p. 413. 

* Grimm, Gach. d. Deut, Spr. p. 625 ; Palgrave, English Common- 
wealth, vol. i. pp. 389, 412 ; St. John, Four Conquests, vol. i. p. 44 ; 
Latham, Ethnology 0/ Brit, Is, p. 199; Donaldson, English Ethnog, 
p. 45. 


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138 The A nglo- Saxofis. 

to be referable to Teutonic rather than Celtic roots. The 
modern name of RECULVERS probably approximates 
very closely to the original word which was Latinized 
into Regulbium, and it suggests the settlement of a 
Teuton named Raculf.^ The name of DOVER,* Latinized 
into Dubris, reminds us of DOUVRES in the Saxon shore 
near Bayeux, and of DOVERCOURT in the intensely Teu- 
tonized district near Harwich, as well as of the Dovre- 
fjeld in Norway, and THANET, also a Teutonic name, 
appears in the pages of Solinus, an author certainly not 
later than the fourth century. 

There are several concurrent indications that the dis- 
trict of Holderness was occupied by Teutonic settlers 
before the close of the Roman rule. Holderness is a 
fertile tract of some 250 square miles, bounded on the 
north, east, and south by the sea and the Humber, and 
on the west by the Wolds, which were probably a 
frontier of wooded and impenetrable hills.' In this dis- 
trict Ptolemy places a people whom he calls the Uaplaoi, 
Grimm has shown that the old German/ is interchange- 
able in Latin with / the aspirated form of the same 
letter.* This would lead us to identify the Hapiaoi with 
the F-risii or Frisians.^ In the same district Ptolemy 

^ The name of the British usurper, Tetricus, whose date is about 270 
A.D. appears to be only the German name Dietrich in a Latinized form. 
Haigh, Conquest of Britain^ p. 162. 

' The root may be the Anglo-Saxon Q/Sr, shore, with a preposition, or 
the definite article prefixed. The usual derivation is from the Celtic dujr^ 
water. Gliick, Kelt. Namen^ p. 35 ; Zeuss, Die Deuiscken^ p. 575. 

' The name Holderness means a wooded promontory. The Wolds axe 
" the woods." Cf. the German wold, 

< Gesch. d. Deut, Spr. p. 394. 

The Frisian form of ham is um. See p. 123, supra. Holderness is 
the only part of England where this form occurs. Here we find the 
village names Aig-am^ "SeyrS'Om, HoU-jrm, Arr-a^i, "Rys-om Garth, axid 


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Frisian Settlement in Yorkshire. 139 

places PETUARIA, a name which cannot be explained from 
Celtic sources, but which points undoubtedly to the 
German root w(ere — inhabitants, which appears in Cant- 
ware, Wihtware, and so many other names.^ Nor is this 
all, for Ptolemy gives us a third name in the district of 
Holdemess, Gabrantoz'iirorum Sinus, which must be 
either Filey Bay or Bridlington Bay. Now this word 
contains the root vie, which was the appellation of a bay 
in the language of the vikings or Bay-men who, at a 
later period, descended in such numbers from the Frisian 

There seems therefore to be good ground for assign- 
ing for the commencement of the Saxon settlements in 
Britain a date anterior to the time of Carausius,' and we 
may believe that the Saxon settlement in Flanders may 
be partly due to the energetic measures by which 
he compelled or induced the Saxon pirates, who were 
establishing themselves on the British coast, to seek a 
new home beyond the channel. 

There was also a third Litus Saxonicum, in the neigh- 
bourhood of Caen, and which extended as far as the 
islands at the mouth of the Loire,* where the population 

^rame, as well as Owstwick, another Frisian form. The village of 
FRiSMERSK is HOW Washed away. Poulson, Hist, of Holderness, vol. ii. 
p. 5^8. 

1 See p. 68, mpra. Ptolemy also gives us a Vand-«ar-ia, near the wall, 
apparency a settlement of some tribe of Vandals or Wends. 

• Cf. Wright, " On the reihains of a primitive people in the south-east or 
Yorkshire." Essays^ vol. i. p. I ; Latham, English Lang, vol. i. pp. 5, 6; 
Poulson, Hist, of Holdemess, vol. i. pp. 4 — 9. 

' The date usually assigned to the landing of Hengist and Horsa is 449 
A.D. The Saxons took London in 367. Carausius was appointed in 
287. The latest writer on the subject places the commencement of the 
Saxon colonization " three or four centuries " before 449. Thrupp, Anglo- 
Saxon Homey p. 4. 

♦ Zeuss, Die DetUschen, p. 386 ; Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. i. 


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1 40 The A nglO'Saxons, 

still retains the distinctive outward marks of Saxon 
blood.^ The Swabian Usti who, as we learn from the 
Notitia, were settled at Bajoccas (Bayeux) may have 
formed the nucleus of this settlement In the year 843 
the annalists mention the existence of a district in this 
neighbourhood called Otlinga^ Saxonica, and Gregory of 
Tours speaks of the Saxones bajocsissini. This Saxon 
settlement dates from the third century, and its forma- 
tion was probably contemporaneous with that of the 
colony in Picardy. By the aid of local names we can 
still trace its sharply defined boundaries.^ It will be 
seen that in the departments of the Eure and of the 
Seine Inf^rieure, where the Danish names of a later 
period are so thickly clustered, hardly a single Saxon 
name is to be found, while in the department of the Cal- 
vados, and in the central portion of La Manche, where 
the Danish names are comparatively scarce, their place 
is occupied by names of the Saxon type. The North- 
men seem to have respected the tenure of their Teutonic 
kinsmen, and to have dispossessed only the Celtic tribes 
who dwelt to the east and north-west of the Saxon 
colony. The artificial landscape in this Saxon district is 

pp. 44, 46; Anglo-Norman Kings^ P- ^3 » Latham, Channel Is.p, 313; 
EthnoL Brit, Is. p. 197; Nationalities of Europe^ vol. ii. pp. 21, 292; 
Depping, Expeditions Maritimes, voL i. pp. 84, 8$ ; Petersen, Reckerchts^ 

p. 44- 

1 Louth, Wanderer in Western France^ p. 292. 

' This phrase, which has elicited so many ingenious etymological guesses, 
does not mean the district where the Saxon language was spoken, but, as 
Grimm has suggested, it was the abode of Saxon nobles, AdoHngs or 
yEthelings,— Gesch, der Detit, Sprack, p. 626. See Donaldson, Engiisk 
Ethnog, p. 45; Depping, ExpSditions^ vol. i. p. 85; and compare the 
name of Athelney, which in the Saxon Chronicle (A.D. 878) is written 
jEtkdinga-igge^ the isle of the iSthelings. 

' See the coloured map, and the sketch map of Normandy in the next 


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Saxon Settlement near Caen. 141 

of a thoroughly English type. The sketcher might 
imagine himself in Devonshire or Kent. The country is 
divided by thick hedgerows into small irregular crofts, 
and the cottages are unmistakably English rather than 
French in structure and appearance.^ 

In this neighbourhood we find the village names of 
SASSETOT (Saxons'-field), hermanville, etreham, or 


hamelet, cottun (cows' yard), etainhus, heu- 
LAND (highland), PLUMETOT (Blomfield or Flowerfield), 
DOUVRES, on " the shore," which reminds us of our own 
Dover, and CAEN, which was anciently written Cathem 
and Catheim.* There are also about thirty Saxon pa- 
tronymics. It is curious to observe in how many cases 
we find the same families on the opposite coast of Hants, 
Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall. In the whole of Cornwall 
there are only two patronymic names, and both of these 
are also found among the thirty on the opposite coast. 
We have the 

Families of the Near Bayeux at In England at 

p. . ^ /Berengeville J Berrington, Dur. Glouc, 

^"™^ (Berigny } Salop, Worcester, 

Beltings Bellengreville Bellinger, Hants. 

Basings Bazenville Basing, Hants, 

Bobbings Baubigny Bobbing, Kent, 

Callings Caligny Callington, Cornwall. 

^^^ ^^^y l^h^JS.n'I'i^/"- 

^ These two characteristic features of Saxon colonization are also to be 
noted in the Litus Saxonicum near Boxilogne. 

' La Roquette, Noms en Normandie, p. 56. 

' This mongrel growth is apparently a Danish graft on a Saxon stock. 

4 La Roquette, Noms en Normandie, P- 53 J Chamock, Local Etym. p. 
53. Cat is perhaps a corruption of Goth or Geat, or it may be the proper 
name Geit. 


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142 The A nglO'Saxons. 

Families of the NearBayeux at In England at 

Cofings Cavigny Covington, Huntingdon, 

C-rdings Cartigny j ^^^^^f,^! 

Grsefings Gravigny Grayingham, Line. 

Hardings Hardinvast Hardenhuish, Wilts, 

Ifings Juvigny Jevington, Sussex, 

Essings Isigny Issington, Hants, 

Mserings Marigny Marrington, Salop, 

Potings Potigny Podington, Dorset, 

Seafings Savigny Sevington, Kent, 

Sulings Soulangy SuUington, Sussex, 

Dhyrings Thorigny ^ Torrington, Devon, 

Local names are of great value when we attempt to 
estimate the amount and the distribution of the Teutonic 
element in the population of France. Any historical 
notices which might aid us are very vague, and the 
philological analysis of the modem French vocabulary ^ 
would give a most inadequate notion of the actual num- 
bers of the Frank and Burgundian colonists. In fact, 
the local names enable us to prove that certain parts of 
modern France are as thoroughly Teutonic in blood as 
any portion of our own island. 

The Germanization of France commenced with settle- 

1 The Gothic igg becomes ing in the Teutonic, and ign in the Romance 
languages. Grimm, Gach, Deut. Spr, p. 775. 

* Not more than five hundred words were introduced into the French lan- 
guage by the German conquerors. Diez, Gram, d, Rom, Spr. vol. i. p. 52, 
Most of them are names of weapons and military terms, such as gonfanon^ 
massacre from mettger, a butcher, bivouac from berwacht^ and guerre^ from 
werray war. lb. p. 55 ; Max Miiller, Lectures, 2nd series, p. 263 ; Perticari ; 
and Milman, Hist, Latin Christianity, vol. vi. p. 332. The other words 
are chiefly the names of articles of dress, of beasts of the chase, and terms 
belonging to the feudal system. Diez, Gram. p. 56; Lewis, Romance 
Languages, p. 270. To these must be added the points of the compass, 
nord^ sudy est, ouest. The fact that in these cases the Teutonic terms should 


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Gennanization of France, 143 

ments of subsidized colonists, Ustiy who were introduced 
by the Roman rulers to defend the frontier. According 
to the Notitia there were Batavian IcbH at Arras. The 
Emperor Julian transported thousands of the Chattuarii, 
Chamavi, and Frisii, to the neighbourhood of Amiens, 
Beauvais, and Langres.* The system was continued at 
a later period. Charlemagne transported into France a 
vast multitude of Saxons — multitudinem Saxonorum 
cum mulieribus et infantibus.' After another Saxon 
conquest he transplanted every third man — tertium 
hominem — of the vanquished people.* Many of the 
German names in France may be due to these forced 
emigrations,* but by far the greater number are, no 
doubt, records of the settlements of the Frank and Bur- 
have displaced their Romance equivalents is a striking indication of the 
more mobile habits of the German tribes as contrasted with the stationary 
life of the Celto-Latin inhabitants. Lewis, Romance Lang. p. 267. The 
radical meaning of the word west is perhaps the vast, the vastitudo, or great 
unknown region lying before the conquerors as they advanced from the east. 
See Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. part i. p. 112; Miiller, Marken des Vaterl. 
p. 209. The Romance words introduced into the Teutonic languages 
are chiefly ecclesiastical, a fact which, connected with the nature of 
the terms conversely introduced into the Romance languages, suggests 
carious speculations as to the reciprocal influence of the rude conquerors 
and their more civilized subjects. See Diez, Gram. d. Rom, Spr. vol. i. 
p. 58L German was spoken in France more or less for some 400 years 
after the Teutonic conquest So late as the year 812, a. D. the Council of 
Tours ordained that every bishop should be able to preach both in the 
Romance and Teutonic languages. Diez, Gram, d, Rom, Spr, vol. L p. 48 ; 
Milman, Hist. Latin Christianity, vol. vi. p. 341. 

^ Probably a Latinization of the German word IBeiite, people. The 
lathes of Kent are probably a vestige of the Isetic organization. 

' Latham, Channetlslands, p. 343'; Nationalities of EuropeyWoL ii. p. 294. 

• Annal. Laureshamenses, apud Pertz, Mon, Germ, voL L p. 38 ; Wam- 
konig, Flandrische StcMtsgeschichte, vol. i. p. 92. 

* Annal. Laur, Minores^ apud Pertz, vol. i. pp. 1 19, 120. 

» Guilmot, quoted by Wamkonig, Flandrische Staatsgesch, voL i. p. 92, 
believes all the Flemish patronymics to be due to this cause. 


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1 44 The A nglo-S axons. 

gundian conquerors. The area and intensity of this 
German colonization may conveniently be traced by 
means of the patronymic village-names, of which there 
are more than iioo in France.^ 

About 250, or nearly one-fourth, of these clan-names 
are also to be found in England — the proportional num- 
ber of identifications being far smaller than in the case 
of the Litus Saxonicum in Picardy. 

Thus we have the 

Families of the In France at In England at 

^binfis . . . j ^^f:n,.c<^uT^L 8!; I ^^^^ ^a^- 

iEcings . . . Acquing, Isle of France .... Oakington, Camb, 

w,|. ( AUiijny, Burgundy | AUington, Dev, Hants. 

flings I ^yj*g^^ Burgu^y i KM 

Antings . . . Antigny, Burgundy ^ Poitou (2) Antingham, Norf 

Arrings . . . Arrigny, Champagne Arrington, Camb, 

Baelings . . . Balagny, Isle of France .... Ballingdon, Essex. 

^^ ■ ■ •{ISlilf/r/:;?^,;;,: : :} Basing, mn^. 
Beadings. . . Bettigny, Champagne Beddingham, Sussex. 

B^iHngs . . ■S^^TaSZ'""'': : : : ^y^^^^nanu. 

Bessings . . . Bissines, Limousin Bessinghanii Norf. 

Billings . . . Billanges, Limousin Billing, Northumb, 

Bings .... Binges, Burgundy. Bing, Suff. 

Jobbings . -S^^^^yl^Z;. : : : : | Bobbing, AVn.. ' 

Bomngs . . •S^X^:;'^::^::^ \ — -jBoHington. Es... 

Bondings. . . Bontigny, Lorraine Bondington, Somers. 

Brantings . . Brantigny, Champagne .... Brantingham, Yorks. 

The map will give an approximate idea of the 
distribution of these names. 

^ See Appendix B. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

German Village-N antes in France, 


They cluster most thickly in the old province of 
Lorraine, where, especially in the departments of the 


The towns indicated by initials are Amiens, Caen, Rouen, Paris, Rheims^ 
Treves, Chalons, Troyes, Dijon, Strasbourg, and Ma9on. The shaded 
district (Alsace) is full of names of the pure German type, few of which, 
however, are patronymic. 

Meurthe and the Moselle, almost every village name 
bears witness to the extensive colonization effected by 
the Prankish conquerors. The Isle of France, especially 
the department of the Aisne, the Upper Valley of the 
Lx>ire above Orleans, and the provinces of Franche- 
Comt6 and Burgundy, present numerous names of the 
patronymic class. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

146 The A nglo-Saxons. 

It is difficult to account for these resemblances on the 
ordinary theory that England was colonized exclusively 
by the Saxons and Angles, and France by the Franks 
and Burgundians. .A large number of Frank adven- 
turers must have joined in the descents which the 
Saxons made on the English coast :^ and many Saxons 
must have found a place in the ranks of the Frankish 
armies which conquered North-eastern France. The 
chroniclers, when mentioning the earlier invasions and 
piratical attacks, attribute them to Franks and Saxons,' 
or to Saxons and Lombards in conjunction. The tribes 
between the Rhine and the Elbe — Franks, Saxons, 
Angles, Sueves, Lombards, and Burgundians — were 
probably united by a much closer connexion — ethno- 
logical, geographical, and political — than historians have 
hitherto been willing to admit. At all events, the speech 
of all these invading tribes must have been mutually 
intelligible.^ Indeed, there seems to be strong reason 
for believing that the names of Frank, Saxon, or Lom- 
bard are not true ethnic names, but that they were only 
the designations of temporary confederations for military 
purposes,* an hypothesis which would be almost reduced 
to a demonstration if we could succeed in establishing 

1 Dr. Latham thinks that Kent was largely colonized by Franks. English 
Language^ vol. i p. 1 78. Ammianus Marcellinus places Alemanni in Britain. 
Lappenberg believes that the Saxons were accompanied by lai^ge numbers 
of Franks, Frisians, and Lombards. The Welshman Llywarc Hen uses 
Frank as an equivalent for Saxon. 

' Eutropius, Julian, and Ammianus Marcellinus associate the Franks and 
Saxons in this manner. 

• Diez, Gram, d. Rom, Spr. vol. i. p, 46 ; Marsh, History of Eng, Lang. 
p. 55 ; Poste, British Researches^ p. 74 ; Donaldson, English Ethnog, 
p. 61. 

* See Zeuss, Die Deutschen, pp. 326, 380—384; Sheppard, Fall 0/ Rome, 
p. 130. 


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Saxon and Lombard Names in Italy. 147 

that plausible etymology of these names which makes 
them descriptive terms relating to the equipment of the 
invading hosts — ^whether armed with javelin (franca), 
sword (seax)y or partisan (lang-barta)} This hypothesis, 
which I was first inclined to reject somewhat cavalierly, 
has commended itself more and more to my judgment 
during the progress of a laborious comparison of the 
village names of France, Germany, Italy, and England. 
Little need be said about the German names in 
Northern Italy. Paulus Diaconus and Gregory of 
Tours assert that the conquest was effected by Saxons 
and Lombards. We find the names of the early Lom- 
bard kings are of a pure Anglo-Saxon type. Thus 
Audouin and Alboin are, no doubt, the same names as 
Edwin and Elfwine.* My friend, Mr. G. P. Marsh, the 
United States Minister at Turin, has kindly pointed out 
to me several clusters of Saxon patronymics in Northern 
Italy. One of these is to be found on the Southern side 
of the Po, opposite the mouth of the Dora Baltea, where 
we have the villages of VARENGO, ODALENGO, TON- 
ENGO, GONENGO, and SCALENGHE. Near Biella there 
is another cluster of these names — VALDENGO, AR- 
BENGO, BOLENGO, and TERNENGO. Near Milan we find 
MARENGO and MORENGO ; and near Brescia — BOVENGO 
and PISOGNE.^ In the villages of RONCEGNO and 
TORCEGNO, in the Valle Sugana, German is still 

' See p. 82, supra. 

' Latham, Nationalities of Europey vol. ii. p. 246. 

' Compare the English village-names of Warrington, Athelney (p. 140), 
Donnington, Connington, Skillington, Waldingfield, Erpingham, Boling- 
broke, Thaming, Marrington, Bovington, Bessingham, Rockingham, and 

* Latham, Nationalities 0/ Europe, vol. ii. p. 283; Schmdler, Ueber die 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

148 The A nglo'Saxons, 

I have not succeeded in discovering any undoubtedly 
Teutonic names in Spain, with the notable exception 
of BURGOS.^ Such, however, doubtless exist within 
the confines of the kingdom of the Swabian conquerors, 
which comprised Galicia, the Asturias, and part of 

It has been generally assumed that the original home 
of the Saxons is to be sought in the modern kingdom 
of Hanover, between the mouths of the Elbe and the 
Weser. I have made a careful search in this region for 
names identical or analogous with those which are found 
in Saxon England. In Westphalia a small group of 
patronymics was discovered.^ But on the whole the 
investigation was remarkably barren of results; the 
names, for the most part, proving to be of an alto- 
gether dissimilar type.* The search was continued over 
Mecklenburg, Holstein,^ Friesland, and the greater part 
of Germany. A few sporadic names were found, but 
always surrounded and outnumbered by names possess- 
ing no distinctive Anglo-Saxon character. There is, 
however, in a most unlikely comer of the Continent, a 

sogenannten Cimbem^ p. 561. The Lombard German was commonly 
spoken in NorUiem Italy, till the year 800 A. D. Diez, Gram, d, Rom. Spr, 
voL i. p. 48. 

1 And, possibly, CoUnnga and Meville, both within the limits of the 
Swabian kingdom. 

' See Grimm, Gesch, d, Detit Spr. p. 501 ; Keferstein, Anskhteny vol. ii. 
p. 313: Zeuss, Die Deutschen^ p. 456. 

' See Appendix B. 

* Names in wick and wich^ so common in England, are foand on the 
Continent only in the Netherlands, Friesland, and old Saxony. Lappen- 
beig, Anglo-Saxon Kings^ voL i. p. 86. The horsts which abound in Kent 
and Sussex, are found also on the Weser in Westphalia. 

* Some curious coincidences between the local names in Kent and in 
Jutland have been pointed out by Maack, in the Gtrmania, vol iv. pp, 


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Franconia and Swabia, 149 

well-defined district, rather larger than Devonshire, where 
the names, though slightly disguised in form, are as 
characteristically Saxon as those found in the Boulogne 
Colony. This district is confined chiefly to the Valley 
of the Neckar, but just crosses the watershed between 
the Neckar and the Danube. It occupies the Northern 
half of the modern kingdom of Wiirtemberg, and in- 
cludes a small portion of Bavaria in the neighbourhood 
of Donauwerth. It also stretches into the State of 
Baden, between Heidelberg and Bruchsal. It does not 
extend to the left bank of the Rhine, or to the right 
bank of the Lower Neckar. In Wiirtemberg, however, 
it occupies both banks of the Neckar. The railway from 
Bruchsal to Ulm, with its serpentine windings and fear- 
ful gradients, carries the tourist through the centre of this 
district — ^which has attractions for the artist and the 
angler, as well as for the ethnologist^ 

This district comprehends the Southern portion of 
what was known in mediaeval times as FRANKEN, or 
Franconia, and the northern part of swabia, or Schwa- 
benland.^ Etymologically and historically, Franconia 
is the land of the Franks, and Schwabenland is the 
land of the Suevi, just as England is the land of the 
Angles. Tacitus locates the Suevi near the Angles ; and 

' There are many points of analogy between this part of Germany and 
England. It is the hop garden and brewery of the Continent. It was in 
the midst of this district that I met with the only case of downright English 
beery drunkenness that it has been my lot to encounter during many rambles 
on the Continent The people are the only Protestants in South Germany, 
and they are distinguished by the English love of field sports. It may be 
carious to note that the battles of Blenheim and Dettingen were fought on 
the borders of this Saxon district, and that of Agincourt on the borders of 
the Boulogne colony. 

• On the close connexion of the Franks and Suevi, see Zeuss, Die 
Deutschen, pp. 328, 338. 


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1 50 The A nglO'Saxons. 

Ptolemy even speaks of the Suevi as one division of the 

The ancient charters of this district, extending from 
the eighth to the twelfth centuries, have been admirably- 
edited, and published by the Government of Wlirtem- 
berg.^ The local names which occur in these charters 
are, to a surprising extent, identical with those in the 
Anglo-Saxon charters, published by the English His- 
torical Society.* Twenty-four very remarkable corre- 
spondences are given by Professor Leo,* and it would be 
easy largely to increase the list. 

But confining ourselves to the names which have 
survived to modern times, I find in the maps of the 
admirable government survey of Wiirtemberg no less 
than 344 patronymics, of which 266, or 80 per cent, 
occur also in England ; ^ and the number of identifica- 
tions might, doubtless, be largely increased by a more 
careful comparison. The evidence is overwhelming. It 
proves that the villages of Wiirtemberg and the villages 
of England were originally settled by men bearing the 
same family names. One or two instances of these cor- 

Tvv * Ayyt t\uif. See Zenss, Die Deutschen^ p. 153. It is a very significaiLt 
fact that in mediaeval times the district south of Heidelberg was called the 


• Wirtembergisches Urkundenbuch^ herausgfgeben von dem Koniglickm 
Staatsarchrv in Stuttgart, Edid. Kausler ; two vols. 4ta 1849 and 1858. 
A large number of ancient Swabian names are also to be found in the 
Codix lAiureshanunsis^ in Diimges, Regesta Badensiay and in Trehere, 
Origines Palatini, See also Forstemann, Alt-deutsches Nanienbuck^ vol. 
ii. passim, 

• Codex Dip^omaticus ^vi Saxoniciy opera Joh. M. Kemble ; five 
vols. 8vo. 

• Anglo-Saxon Names^ pp. 116 — 119. 

^ The proportion is the same as in the Boulogne colony. 


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Patronymic Village-Names in Wiirtemberg, 151 

respondences may here be given, and others will be 
found in the appendix.^ Thus the iEslingas are men- 
tioned in a Kentish charter, ^ we have Eslingaforda in 
the Exon Domesday, and ISLINGTON in Norfolk and 
Middlesex- In Artois we find ISLINGHEM and ESLING- 
HEN ; and in Wiirtemburg there are several villages 
the Besingas, who are mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon 
charter, appear at BESSINGHAM in Norfolk, at BEZING- 
HAM in Artois, and at BISSINGEN in Wiirtemberg. The 
Birlingas appear in a Worcestershire charter, we have 
BIRLING in Kent, BIRLINGHAM in Worcestershire, BAR- 
in Wiirtemberg — a place which has been identified, 
with the Birlingen of an ancient charter. So we have 
BOOKING in Essex, BOUQUINGHEM in Artois, and 
BOCHINGEN in Wurtemberg. 

» It will be observed that these Swabian names ter- 
minate almost universally in ing-en. The suffix en is 
usually the sign of the dative plural. Thus Birlingeh 
would mean " At the Birlings," that is, ** at the place 
where the family of Birl lives." ' It should, however, 
be noted that a name like Birlingen may be a corrup- 
tion of the BerlingA^, which we find in Artois.* The 

' Appendix B. 

* Cod. DipL no. in. 

' So Bad//f is a dative plural answering to Thermis or Aquis. HolsteiVi, 
Swed/^f , Hess^, and Preuss^» are also dative plurals. Pott, Personen-Nameriy 
p. 169 ; Forstemann, Alt-Deutsches Namenbuch^ vol. iL p. 835 ; Ortsnatnm, 
PP* 194* 195; Grimm, Deut, Gram, voL iL p. 349 ; Meyer, Ortsnamen des 
Kantons Zurich^ p. 139 ; Bender, Deutschm Ortsnamen, p. 103 ; ,Vilmar, 
Ortsnamen^ pp. 264, 265 ; and p. 69, supra, 

* That the Suevi were associated with the Saxons in the formation of 
the Flemish settlement is proved by the names of some fifteen villages in 


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I S2 The Anglo-Saxons, 

hen in this case is, undoubtedly, a corruption of hem, 
for we find that, close to the coast, the village-names 
end in hem^ a suffix which passes into hen as we ap- 
proach the Belgian frontier. The hem of Artois is 
undoubtedly only a phonetic modification of the Eng- 
lish hUm; and it is, therefore, a question whether the 
'ing-en of Wiirtembeig is not the same as the -ing- 
ham of England, since we can trace it through the 
intermediate stages of inghen and inghem} 

What interpretation shall we put upon these facts ? 
Shall we conclude that the cradle of the Saxon race is 
to be sought in the Valley of the Neckar, or were 
Swabia and England both colonies from a common 
motherland ? In the case of a fluviatile migration the 
descent of the river would be far more easy, and there- 
fore far more probable, than the ascent against a rapid 
current like that of the Rhine.* But this argument is of 

Flanders which contain their name, e,g, Suevezele, Sueveghem, &c. 
Wamkonig, Flandrischf Staatsgeschichie, vol. i. p. 91. 

1 In Switzerland heim often becomes en, e.g. Altheim is now Alten, 
Dachsheim is now Dachsen, Sickingen was anciently Sickingheim. Pott, 
Personennamen, p. 169 ; Meyer, Ortsnamefiy p. 125. In Hesse we find 
Sielen, anciently Siliheim, and Heskem, anciently Heistincheim. Vilmar, 
Ortsnamen, p. 271 ; Foistemann, Ortsnamen, pp. 98, 231. Some of the 
names, instead of the suffix ing-en, terminate in ig-heim. This is clearly 
the Anglo-Saxon ham, a home, while h&m, an inclosure, would be repre- 
sented by en. The distinction which has been lost in England has been 
preserved in Swabia. Since heim is a long syllable, the penultimate is 
shortened for phonetic reasons by the omission of a letter, and ingheim 
becomes igheim, or enheim, as in the cases of Bonigheim, Besigheim, 
Bietigheun, Billigheim and Dackenheim. 

• Along the whole course of the Rhine, from the Neckar to the sea, a 
distance of more than 250 miles, we find scattered, here and there, isolated 
names undoubtedly akin to those which we have been considering. There 
is no cluster of them to be discovered anywhere, nothing but single names, 
such as Bingen, Wellingen, Rellinghaus, and Eppinghofen, which seem to 
have been waifs by the roadside, dropped by the passing host of pilgrims. 


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Original seat of the Saxons. 153 

small force, when weighed against the concurrence of 
ancient tradition, which places the Saxons on the coast 
of the German ocean. Ptolemy speaks of the " islands 
of the Saxons ; " and the geographer of Ravenna says, 
"confinalis Daniae est patria quae nominatur Saxonia." 
Orosius speaks of the Saxons, "gentem Oceani in 
litoribus et paludibus inviis sitam." ^ 

These and other early notices render it difficult to 
avoid the conclusion that the ** old Saxons " were seated 
somewhere between the mouths of the Elbe and of the 
Rhine, in juxtaposition with the Suevi, the Franks, the 
Lombards, and the Angles. As we have already seen, it 
was here that, for thirty-two years, they withstood the 
power of Charlemagne, who avenged their obstinate 
resistance by the massacre of thousands of their warriors 
in cold blood, and dispersed a third of the nation into 
distant provinces.* This extermination of the Saxons 
on the Weser, coupled with the subsequent influx of a 
Sclavonic population, as evinced by the local names, may 
serve to account for the absence of characteristic Saxon 
names in that region, while the Swabians and Angles of 
Wurtemberg may possibly have formed one of the trans- 
ported colonies of Charlemagne ; if, indeed, the Swabian 

* On the original seat of the old Saxons see Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon 
Kings^ vol. L p. 87 ; Zeuss, Die Dmtschen, pp. 380—394. The modem 
kingdom of Saxony was Sclavonic to a late date, as is shown by the local 
names. It is out of the question to locate the "old Saxons" in this 

' Eginhard, in his life of Charlemagne, sec. vii. and again in his Annals, 
A.D. 804, says that Charlemagne transplanted 10,000 men of the Saxons, 
with their wives and children, into Germany and Gaul. AU these were 
from the Duchy of Bremen. The names of Sachsenhausen, near Frankfort, 
and Katzellenbogen in the gorge of the Rhine, may be records of some of 
these settlements. See p. 143, supra ; Pertz, Mon, Ger. vol ii. p. 447 ; 
vol i. p. 191 : Palgrave, English Commomvealth^ vol. I p. 40. 


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154 l^f^ -^ nglo' Saxons, 

colony was not a settlement brought about at the same 
time and by the same causes that produced the descents 
upon the English coast.^ 

1 Both Zeuss and Latham think that the Suevi left the shores of the 
Weser for those of the Danube and the Neckar m the third century. The 
Saxons moved southwards in the sixth century. See Zeuss, Die DaUschen^ 
p. 316 ; Turner, Anglo-Saxom^ vol. i. p. 208. 


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The Northmen, 155 



Incursions of the Northmm-^ Norse Ust^words; ''by,'' '* thorpe,'' ''toft,'' 
"vaU,"" '* garth," "ford;' "wick" --Vestiges of the Danes near the 
Thames — Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Lincolnshire — The Danelagh — 
Norwegians in Sutherland, the Orkneys, Shetlands, Hebrides, and Isle of 
Man — Cumberland and Westmoreland — TTu JViredl — Colony in Pern- 
brokeshire — Devonshire and the South Coast — Northmen in Ireland — 
— Intensity of the Scandinavian element in different parts of England — 
Northmen in France — Names in Normandy — Norse Names in Spain, 
Sicily, and the Hellespont — Local vestiges of the Anglo-Norman conquest 
— Anglo-Norman nobles in Scotland, 

For three centuries the Northmen were the terror of 
Western Europe. They sailed up the Elbe, the Scheldt, 
the Rhine, the Moselle, and the Neckar.^ They ravaged 
the valleys of the Somme, the Seine, the Marne, the 
Yonne, the Loire, and the Garonne. They besieged 
Paris, Amiens, Orleans, Tours, Troyes, Chalons, Poic- 
tiers, Bordeaux, and Toulouse.* They plundered the 
coasts of Italy, and encountered the Arabs at Seville 
and Barcelona.^ Over the entrance to the arsenal at 
Venice may still be seen one of the sculptured lions 

* Strinnholm, IVikingsiige, p. 8l. 

• lb. pp. 34, 35, 98, 144 ; Crichton, Scandinavia, vol. i. p. 165. 

' Gayangos, Moham, Dynasties, vol. ii. pp. 116, 431, 435 ; Strinnholm, 
IVikingsiige, p. 36; Depping, Expeditions, vol i. pp. no, 134. 


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1 56 TJte Northmen. 

which once adorned the Piraeus at Athens. The marble 
is deeply scored with Norse runes, which, by the aid of 
photography, have been deciphered by Professor Rafn of 
Copenhagen, and which prove to be a record of the 
capture of the Piraeus by Harold Hardrdda, the Norwe- 
gian king who fell at Stamford Bridge.^ The Northmen 
established themselves as conquerors or colonists over 
the half of England, in the isles and western coasts of 
Scotland, in Greenland, in Iceland, in the Isle of Man, 
and in the north of France — they founded kingdoms in 
Naples, Sicily, France, England, and Ireland — ^while a 
Norse dynasty ruled Russia for seven hundred years,* 
and for centuries the Varangian guard upheld the 
tottering throne of the Byzantine emperors. 

The historic annals of these <<)nquests are scanty and 
obscure. But the Norse names which are still found 
scattered over the north-west of Europe supply a means 
of ascertaining many facts which history has left un- 
recorded. By the aid of the names on our modem 
maps we are able to define the precise area which was 
ravaged by the Scandinavians, . and we can, in many 
instances, detect the nature of the descent, whether for 
purposes of plunder, trade, or colonization. Sometimes, 
indeed, we can even recover the very names of the 
Viking chiefs and of their followers, and ascertain from 
whence they sailed, whether from the low-lying coasts of 
Denmark, or from the rock-bound fjords of Norway. 

Before we proceed to attempt the solution of any of 

1 Laing, Hdmskringla, vol. iii. pp. 3, 4 ; Dasent, Burnt Njal, vol. i. p. 
10 ; vol. iL p. 499 ; St. John, Four Conquests^ voL ii. p. 248. 

' Of the fifty Russian ambassadors to Constantinople in the year 945, 
as many as forty-seven bear Norse names, such as Rulov (Rolf), Phrelaf 
(Frideleif), Grim, Karl, Ulf, Asbrand, and Sven. Strinnholm, Wikingtuge, 
p. 296. 


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A rea of Norse Invasion, 157 

these curious problems, it will be necessary to exhibit 
the tools with which the historical lock is to be picked. 
We must analyse and classify the characteristic names 
which the Northmen have left upon the map. 

The most valuable and important of these test-words 
is byr or by. This word originally meant a dwelling, or 
a single farm, and hence it afterwards came to denote a 
village.! In Iceland, at the present day, the ordinary 
name given to a farmstead is boer,^ and in Scotland a 
cow-stall is still called a byre. We find this word as a 
suffix in the village-names of Denmark, and of all 
countries colonized ^ by the Danes. In Normandy we 
find it in the form bue or boei4f^ and in England it is 
usually contracted into by.^ In the Danish district of 
England — between Watling Street and the River Tees — 
the suffix by frequently takes the place of the Anglo- 
Saxon -ham or -ton. In this region there are numerous 

^ A by-law is the local law enacted by the township. Compare the 
Burlaw, or Birlaw, of Scotland. Palgrave, English Commonwealth, vol. i. 
p. So. On the suffix iy, see Donaldson, English Ethnog, p. 54 ; Worsaae, 
Danes and Norwegians, pp. 67, 159; Latham, English Language, voL i. 
p. 431 ; Ansted and Latham, Channel Islands, p. 333 ; Fergxison, North- 
men, p. 42. 

* Peaks and Passes, Second Series, vol. i. p. 47. 

' It denotes Danish colonization. In places visited only for purposes of 
trade or plunder no dwellings would be required. 

* The Devonshire suffix here or hear comes still nearer to the Icelandic 
form. See p. 179, infra. The Normand boeuf%^cca& to be represented in 
the English booth, and the Scotch bothie, Le Prevost, Recfurches, p. 40 ; 
Feiguson, Northmen, p. 46. 

* At the port of Elsinore, previous to the recent abolition of the Sound 
dues, the vessels of Grimsby could claim certain privileges and exemptions 
conferred by the Danish founder of the town. Palgrave, Eng. Common- 
wealth, vol. i. p. 50 ; Normandy and England, vol. iii. p. 349. 

* In a few cases we have documentary evidence of a change of name 
consequent upon the Danish conquest Thus we know that the Norse 


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I $8 The Nortkmm, 

NETHERBY, SELBY, Of ASHBY. In Lincolnshire alone 
there are one hundred names ending in by. To the north 
of Watling Street there are some six hundred instances 
of its occurrence — to the south of it, scarcely one. There 
are scores and scores of names ending in by in Jutland 
and Sleswic, and not half-a-dozen throughout the whole 
of Germany.^ The suffix is common both to the Nor- 
wegian and Danish districts of England, though it is 
more frequent in the latter. 

Another useful test-word is thorpe, tkrop, or trap,- 
which we find in ALTHORPE, COPMANSTHORPE, and 
wlLSTROP, near York. It pieans an aggregation of men 
or houses — a village. This suffix is very useful in 
enabling us to discriminate between the settlements of 
the Danes and those of the Norwegians, being confined 
almost exclusively to the former. It is very common in 
Denmark and East Anglia, it is very rare in Norway, it 
does not occur in Lancashire, only once in Cumber- 
land, and very seldom in Westmoreland. 

The word toft^ which in Normandy takes the form toty 
is also distinctly Danish and East Anglian. It is very 
scarce in Norway and Westmoreland, and is unknown in 

name of Deoraby or derby took the place of the former Saxon name of 
Northweorthig, or Norworth as it would now be written. So the Saxon 
Streoneshalch became the Norse whitby. 

1 Even these are chiefly foimd on the Eyder and north of the Elbe — a 
Danish district. 

' It corresponds to the German darf, a village, seen in the names 
ALTORF, DUSSELDORF, &c Cf. Amold, Hist. Rome, vol. i. p. 526. In 
Westphalia and Miinster the form trup or drup is very common, as 


Dorow's DenkmaleTf vol. i. pp. 187 — 192. The etymological affinities of 
thorp€ are discussed by Diefenbach, Verglekhendes IVorUrbuch, vol. ii. 
p. 698 ; Leo, A,'S. Names, pp. 43—50 ; Forstemann, Namenbuch, voL ii, 
p. 1391. 


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The Suffixes " by I' " thorpel' and " tofC 1 59 

Cumberland. It signifies a homestead or inclosure, and, 
like by and thorpe, it is an indication of permanent 

Thwaite, on the other hand, is the distinctive Norwe- 
gian suffix. The meaning is nearly the same as the 
Saxon field, a forest clearing. It is very common in 
Norway, it occurs forty-three times in Cumberland, and 
not once in Lincolnshire, while tkorpe, the chief Danish 
test-word, which occurs sixty-three times in Lincolnshire, 
is found only once in Cumberland. 

In Normandy the greater proportion of Norse names 

end in vilUy as TANCARVILLE or HACONVILLE. This 

has always, I believe, been referred to the Romance 

word vilkiy but a careful study of the regions in which it 

occurs has convinced me that it must be the Teutonic 

wHler,^ an abode, a single house, which is so common in 

e Rhinegau and in many parts of Germany.* Toward 

e edge of the Norman occupancy it takes the form 

Uiers,^ as in the name HARDIVILLIERS. In England it 

found in the form well or will, as at KETTLEWELL, 


The Norse garth, an. inclosure, which corresponds to 
\ Anglo-Saxon yard, has already been discussed.* 
The work beck, * a brook, is more frequent in the Nor- 

Old High German Ttnlari or wUre, New High German weiler, 
temann, AU-deutsches Namenbuch, voL ii. pp. 1527 — 1533 ; Bender, 
namen, p. 131. 

(n Canton Zurich it occurs more than seventy times, as in breitwil. 
jr, Ortsnamen des Kantons Zurich, p. 75. 

This form alone may suffice to show how inadequate the Romance villa 
a source of these names. 

See p. 121, supra, micklegarth or "Greatgarth" was the Norse 
e of Constantinople. 
' In Mercia we find the form batch, as in Woodbatch, Comberbatch, and 


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1 60 The Northmen, 

wegian than in the Danish region, and this also is the 
case with the suffixes -haughy -withy -taruy and -dale} 
The word force, which is the ordinary name for a water- 
fall in the lake district, is exclusively Norwegian, and 
corresponds to the Icelandic and Norwegian foss? The 
vjoxAfell is also derived from Norway, where it takes the 
iormffeld (pronounced fi-ell). It is the usual name for 
a hill in the north-west of England.^ 

We now come to the words which do not necessarily 
imply any permanent colonization by the Northmen. 
The suffix ford occurs both in -Anglo-Saxon and in 
Norse names, but with characteristic difference of mean- 
ing. In either csiseford is a derivative oifaran or fara, 
to go.* The fords of the Anglo-Saxon husbandmen, 
which are scattered so abundantly over the south of 
England, are passages across rivers for men or cattle; 
the fords of the Scandinavian sea-rovers are passages for 
ships ^ up arms of the sea, as in the case of the fjords of 

1 The Anglo-Saxon form is dtll, as in arundel. The Norse form dak 
is seen m kendal, annandale, and lonsdale. The German equivalent 
is thai. When dai is a prefix it is usually a cormption of the Celtic dai^ a 
field, as in the cases of Dalkeith and dalrymple. 

> E.g, the waterfall of skogarfoss in Iceland. 

» The Anglo-Saxony?^/:/ or yS/(/ is from the same root as the tfone/r//. 
Kfdl is a place where the ground is on the fall ; 9. fiefd or/eld is where the 
trees have been felled. In old writers wood and feld are continually con- 
trasted. Just like the American term " a clearing," the word Juid bore 
witness to the great extent of unfelled timber which still remained. With 
the progress of cultivation the word has lost its primitive force. The word 
fold is from the same source. See p. I2i, supra ; Trench, Study of Words, 
p. 200; ^^ZTsx^xi^y Berichtigungefiy p. 17. 

* A cabman's or waterman's y2rr.f is the person who goes with him. Far^- 
well is an imperative— journey well. The field -y&r^ is so called from its 
characteristic habit of moving across the fields. See Diefenbach, Vergi. 
Wort. vol. i. pp. 364 — 366 ; Sparschuh, Berichtigtmgefu, p. 65. 

A While many of our agricultural terms, as basket, crook, kiln, fleam, 
barrow, ashlar, gavelock, rasher, and mattock, are of Celtic origin, seafarmg 


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''Ford'' and'' wickr i6i 

Norway and Iceland,^ and the firths of Scotland. These 
Norse fords are found on the coasts which were fre- 
quented for purposes of trade or plunder. We have 
in Wales, in ORFORD and CHILLSFORD in Suffolk, and 
perhaps in SEAFORD 2 in Sussex, and DEPTFORD, the 
•* deep reach " on the Thames. 

Wick is also found in both Anglo-Saxon and Norse 
names, but here also there is a difference in the ap- 
plication, analogous to that which we have just con- 
sidered. The primary meaning in either case seems to 
have been a station.' With the Anglo-Saxons it was a 
station or abode on land — hence a house or a village : 
with the Northmen it was a station for ships* — hence 
a small creek or bay. The sea-rovers derived their name 
of vik-ingSy^ or " creekers," from the wics or creeks in 
which they anchored. The inland wicks, therefore, are 
mostly Saxon, while the Norse wicks fringe our coasts,® 

words, such as cockswain, boatswain, and skipper, are mostly Norse. 
Gamett, Essay Sy p. 31. Cf. Diez, Gram, d, Rom. Spr. vol. i. p. 56. 


* Still pronounced Seafoord. 

' See Marsh, Lectures on the Origin and Hist, of the English Language^ 
p. 132. The root runs through all the Aryan languages. We have the 
Sanskrit vi^a^ the Zend vtfy the Greek oT/cos, a house, and the Latin vicus^ 
the Maeao-Gothic veihs, the Polish wies, the Irish fich, the Cymric gwic, all 
meaning an abode or village. Diefenbach, Vergieiehendes Wbrterbuch, 
vol. t p. 138 ; Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. voL ii. p. 238 ; Vilmar, Ortsnamen, 
p. 270 ; Crichton, Scandinaviaf vol. i. p. 37 ; Sparschuh, Benchiigungen, 
p. 95 ; Forstemann, Namenbuch^ vol. ii. p. 1509. 

* There is, however, an Anglo-Saxon verb wiciany to run a ship on shore, 
to take up a station. 

* Afterwards the word viking came to be used for any robber. Thus in 
a Norse Biblical paraphrase Goliath is termed a viking. Dasent, Burnt 
Njal, vol. ii. p. 353. 

* The whole of the Essex coast is lined with names ending in wick. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 62 The Northmen, 

and usually indicate the stations of pirates, rather than 
those of colonists. Thus we have WICK and SAND- 
WICH, in Kent; WYKE, near Portland; BERWICK, in 
Sussex and Northumberland ; and WICKLOW, in Ireland, 
all of which occur in places where there are no inland 
names denoting Norse colonization. 

HAM, and perhaps of WARWICK, although inland places, 
are derived indirectly from the Norse wic, a bay, and not 
from the Anglo-Saxon wic, a village. All these places 
are noted for the production of salt, which was formerly 
obtained by the evaporation of sea-water in shallow 
wiches or bays, as the word baysalt testifies. Hence 
a place for making salt came to be called a wych-house, 
and Nantwich, Droitwich, and other places where rock- 
salt was found, took their names from the wych-houses 
built for its preparation.^ 

Another word which denotes the occasional presence 
of the sea-rovers is ness or naze, which means a nose, or 

About thirty of the farmhouses in tlie salt marshes bear this name. We 
have the Wick (three times), Eastwick (twice), Westwick (twice), Northwick 
(twice), as well asjewick, Raywick, Frowick, Langwick, and Lastwick. 
These names may be derived either from the Anglo-Saxon, or from the 
Norse, wic. More probably, however, they should be referred to an entirely 
different source, namely the Anglo-Saxon vtc^ a marsh, a word which is 
related to the German weichy soft, and the modem English word weak. 
Diefenbach, Vergleichendes IVorterhtch, vol. i. p. 139 ; Leo, RectUudines 
Sing. Pers. p. 53. The numerous places in South Tyrol called Vigo seem 
to derive their names from the Latin vicus. Gilbert and Churchill, Dolomite 
Mountains^ p. 74. 

1 See Knapp, English Roots and Ramifications, p. i8. Domesday Book 
mentions salt works at Wich, Upewic, Helperic, Midelwic, and Norwiche, 
all in Worcestershire. From the same authority we learn that at Droitwich 
certain dues of salt were payable. Ellis, Introduction to Domesday, pp. xL 
and xli. 


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" Ness'' and '' scarr 163 

promontory of land. Thus we have CAITHNESS, WRAB- 
NESS, CAPE GRINEZ, near Calais, and the naze in 
Norway and in Essex. 

We may ^Iso detect the visits of the Northmen by the 
word scary a face of rock or cliff — from skera, to skear^ or 
cut asunder.^ Instances are to be found in the names of 


holm means an island, almost always an island in a lake - 
or river. STOCKHOLM stands on such an island. We 
have also FLATHOLM in the Severn, and LINGHOLME on 
Windermere. An island in the sea is denoted by the 
suffix oe^ a, ayy or ey?' as in the case of the FAROE 
ISLANDS ; MAGEROE, in Norway ; STAFFA, lONA, and 
CUMBRAY, on the western coast of Scotland ; and LAMB AY 
on the Irish coast 

Furnished with these test-words we may endeavour to 
trace the various settlements of the Danes and of the 

To begin with our own island. As will be seen by 
a reference to the coloured map, the Danes of Jutland 
appear to have frequented the south-eastern portion of 
the island for purposes of trade or plunder rather than of 
colonization. This we gather from the fact that the 
Norse names in this district are found chiefly in the 
immediate vicinity of the coast, and designate either safe 
anchorages, or dangerous headlands. We find hardly 

^ Cf. the Gaelic and Erse sgdr^ a diff, and the Anglo-Saxon scirarty to 
divide. Hence the shire^ a division of land, the shore which divides land 
from sea, a skeiver, the plonghr^arir and the shears, instruments for dividing, 
and a share, a divided part To score is to make notches on a stick, and the 
numeral a score denotes the number of notches such a stick would contain. 
A scar is the mark where the flesh has been divided. A shard is a bit of 
broken pottery. Sharp and sharp denote that something has been cut off. 

* The suffix ey is Anglo-Saxon as well as Norse. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 64 The Northmetu 

one solitary instance of the occurrence of the suffixes by^ 
toft, thorpe, or thwaite, which would indicate permanent 

London was repeatedly besieged by the Danes. With 
the hope of capturing the rich and unrifled prize, their 
fleets lay below the city for many months together.^ 
Their stations were at DEPTFORD, " the deep fiord ; " at 
GREENWICH,* the "green reach:" and at WOOLWlCH, 
the "hill reach," ^ so called apparently from its being 
overhung by the conspicuous landmark of Shooter's 
HilL The spits and headlands, which mark the navi- 
gation along the Thames and the adjacent coasts, almost 
all bear characteristic Norse names — such as the FORE- 

NAZE, near Harwich. On the Essex coast we find DANE- 
Hundred, in the south-east of Essex, is spelt Daneing in 
a charter of Edward the Confessor.* PRETTLEWELL and 
HAWKSWELL, in the same neighbourhood, may probably 
contain the suffix -villej which is so common in Nor- 
mandy ; and THOBY, ne^r Ingatestone,* SCAR House, 
and LEE BECK, indicate the presence of Danish settlers. 
In the extreme north-eastern corner of the county we 

* Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 1013, 1014, 1016. 

s There is a grenivik in Iceland, which is mentioned in the Landna- 
fnabok, p. 255. 

' This etymology is confirmed by the fact that Woolwich is written 
Hulviz in Domesday. 

^ Stansgate Wick, Wigborough, and Battleswick may be either Saxon or 
Norse. See p. 161, supra. 

* Cough's Camden, vol. ii. p. 132. 

* Not far from hence Cnut gained a great victory over Eadmund Iron- 
de, which may have led to the settlement of some of the conquerors in the 

neighbourhood. See Chapter XII. 


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Tlu Northmen in Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk. 165 

find a little compact Danish colony — planted on a spot 
well guarded by marshes and the sea. Here we discover 
the Danish names of HARWICH, holmes Island, KIRBY, 
THORPE-le-Soken, and East THORPE. At WALTON ON 
THE NAZE there seems to have been a walled inclosure, 
to defend the intruders from the assaults of their hostile 
Saxon neighbours. In the south-eastern corner of 
Suffolk we have another WALTON, probably a second 
fortified outpost of the Danish kingdom.^ 

In Suffolk there are a few scattered Danish names, 
chiefly near the coast — such as IPSWICH, DUNWICH,^ 

The name of NORWICH is probably Norse. The city 
is situated on what was formerly an arm of the sea, and 
it was visited by Danish fleets.* In the extreme south- 
eastern corner of Norfolk there is a dense Danish settle- 
ment — occupying the Hundreds of East and West 
FLEGG,* a space some eight miles by seven, well pro- 
tected on every side by the sea, and the estuaries of the 
Bure and the Yare. In this small district eleven names 

* In England we find some forty places called Walton. With one or 
two exceptions these occur in the neighbourhood of some isolated Danish 
or Norw^;ian colony. There are places bearing the name in the neighbour- 
hood of Harwich, Ipswich, Fenny Stratford, Lynn, Wisbeach, Liverpool, 
and Haverford West, all regions inhabited by an intrusive population, to 
whom the security afforded by a walUd town would be a matter of prime 

■ Beda writes the name Dunmoc. It would seem, therefore, that the last 
syllable of the modem name is due to Danish influence. 

' S€Lxon Chronicle^ A.D. 1 004; Turner, Angio-Saxons, vol. ii. p. 317; 
Palgrave, Normandy and England, vol. iii. p. 398. 

* From the Norse yrorAJifgg, or Danish vlak, flat. Compare the names 
of FLECKNEY, in Leicestershire, and flekkesfjord and fleckeroe, on 
the Norwegian coast. 


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1 66 The Northmen, 

out of twelve are unmistakably Norse, compounded 
mostly of some common Danish personal name, and the 
suffix by. We find the villages of STOKESB Y, BILLOCKBY, 
HERRINGBY and CLIPPESBY. The parish of REPPS re- 
minds us of the Icelandic districts called Hreppar} and 
St. Olave's Bridge preserves the name of the royal saint 
of Scandinavia. In the remaining part of Norfolk there 
are scattered names of a distinctively Danish cha- 
racter, though they by no means preponderate.^ Here, 
however, we are met by an element of uncertainty, since 
the dialectic peculiarities of the Danes from Jutland 
merge into those of the East Anglians* who migrated 
from the contiguous districts of Holstein and Sleswic ; and 

* See p. 191, infra, 

■ In the list of Suffolk surnames given in Donaldson's Engiisk Ethno- 
graphy, pp. 62 — 65, there are several which occur in the Landnamabok of 
Iceland. The sons of Njal were Skarphethin, Helgi, and Grimmr; these 
three names are common in Norfolk in the form Sharpin, Heely, and 
Gryme. Dasent, Burnt Njal^ vol. i. p. 79 ; Borrow, Wild WaUsy vol. i. 
p. 352, note. 

' In the Rev. R. Gamett's Essay on the Language and Dialects of the 
British Isles {Essays, pp. 139, 140, 143) an attempt is made to distinguish 
the Anglian districts by means of the hard forms, Carlton, Fiskerton, 
Skipton, Skelbrooke, Skephouse, &c., which lake the place of the 
Charltons or Chorltons, Fishertons, Shelbrookes, and Sheephooses, which 
are found to the south of the Thames and the west of the Teme. But it 
may be doubted how, far these forms are Anglian and how far Scandi- 
navian. Mr. R, Gamett*s Anglian districts are: I. East Anglian — 
Norfolk and Suffolk. 2. Middle Anglian — Lincoln, Notts, and Derby- 
shire. 3. North Anglian^West Riding. 4. Northumbrian — ^Durham, 
Nortliumberland, and the North and East Ridings. All these so-called 
Anglian districts are also, it will be seen, decisively Scandinavian. In 
fact, the Saxon peculiarities pass into those of the Anglians, the Anglian 
into those of the Danes, and these again into those of the Norwegians. 
The Danish inroads were the continuation, under another name, of the 
earlier Anglo-Saxon expeditions. See Palgrave, Eng. Comm, vol. i 
p. 568. 


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Lincolnshire. 167 

it is often difficult to discriminate between the names 
derived from either source. 

When, however, we cross the Wash and come to 
Lincolnshire, we find overwhelming evidence of an almost 
exclusive Danish occupancy. About one-fourth of the 
village names in Lincolnshire present the characteristic 
Danish suffix by, while the total number of Danish 
names in this county amounts to about three hundred — 
more than are found in all the rest of Southumbrian 

The fens which border the Witham, the Welland, and 
the Nen eflfectually guarded the southern frontier of the 
Danish settlers ; and this natural boundary they do not 
seem to have crossed in any considerable numbers. A 
line drawn from east to west, about eleven miles to the 
north of Boston, will mark the southern limit of the 
purely Danish, as distinguished from the Anglian settle- 
ment.^ North of this line is a district about nine miles 
by twelve, between Tattershall, New Bolingbroke, Horn- 
castle, and Spilsby, which would appear to have been 
more exclusively Danish than any other in the kingdom.^ 
In this small space there are some forty unmistakable 
Danish village-names ; such as KIRBY, MOORBY, ENDERBY, 
HEMINGBY, TOFT, and Others, all denoting the fixed 
residence of a Danish population. 

From Lincolnshire the Danes spread inland over the 

1 See the coloured map. 

* A list of surnames compiled from the parish registers of this district, 
and compared with the names in the Landnamabok of Iceland, would pro- 
bably prove of great ethnological interest and value. 


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1 68 The Northmen. 

contiguous counties. The Danelagh, or Danish district, 
by agreement between Alfred and Guthrum, renewed by 
Eadmund and Anlaf in 941, was divided from the Saxon 
kingdom by a line passing along the Thames, the Lea, 
and the Ouse, and then following the course of Watling 
Street, the Roman road which runs in a straight line 
from Lonck)n to Chester.^ North of this line we find in 
the local names abundant evidence of Danish occupancy, 
while to the south of it hardly a single name is to be 
found denoting any permanent colonization. The 
coloured map will show the manner in which the Danish 
local names radiate from the Wash. In Leicestershire, 
Rutland, Northamptonshire, and Yorkshire, the Danish 
names preponderate over those of the Anglo-Saxon 
type ; while Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Bedford- 
shire, and the adjacent counties, protected by the fens, 
present scarcely a single Danish name.^ 

We have, however, the Danish village-names of 
Hundred, in Herts, is called Danais in Domesday : it 
contains the hamlets of ELSTROP, AYSTROPE, CAUSE- 
WELL, HAMWELL, and a place called DANEFURLONG; 
and on the borders of the hundred, close to the dividing 
line of Watling Street, are KETTLEWELL,^ CHISWILL, 
and DANESEND.* It will be seen also how the Danish 
names cluster round each of the Danish fortresses of 

1 Roger de Hoveden, p. 423 ; St. John, Four ConqtustSy voL i. p. 354 ; 
Robertson, Scotiaftd under her Early Kings^ vol. ii. p. 273 ; Turner, 
Anglo-Saxons^ vol. i. p. 378 ; Worsaae, Daties and Norwegians^ p. 21. 

' Toft, in Cambridgeshire, is almost the only instance. 

' An unmistakably Norse name. In the Landnamabok Ketell occurs 
repeatedly as a personal name. 

^ Gough*s Camdin^ vol. ii. p. 67. 


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Scotland, 169 

Leicester, Derby, Stamford, Nottingham, Lincoln, and 

. As we leave Yorkshire and approach Durham and 
Northumberland the Norse names rapidly diminish in 
frequency, and north of the Tweed they almost entirely 
disappear. The few that we find are usually only 
stations on the coast, as ALNWiCK and BERWICK. The 
names of a few bays and headlands'^ prove that the 
Northmen were familiar with the navigation of the coast, 
while the absence of any Norse names of villages or 
farms proves that the soil, for some reason, was left in 
the undisturbed possession of the Saxons or the Celts. 
In Fife we find by once or twice, and thorpe appears 
once in the form oi threap.^ The map proves conclusively 
that the district between the Tees and the Forth is one 
of the most purely Saxon portions of the island, thus 
remarkably corroborating the historical fact that in the 
eleventh century even the Lothians were reckoned as a 
part of England.* • 

But as we approach the north-eastern extremity of 
Scotland a new phenomenon presents itself. We find a 
lai^e number of Norse names ; they are, however, no 
longer Danish as heretofore, but exclusively Norwegian. 
We find, in fact, that the local nomenclature bears 
decisive witness to the historical fact that, down to a 
comparatively late period,* the Shetlands, the Orkneys, 
the Hebrides, and the Isle of Man, were not dependencies 

* On the Danish burghs, see Worsaae, Danes and Norwegians^ P- 3^ » 
Kemble, Saxons in England^ vol. ii. p. 320. 

* E.g, Alnwick, Berwick, the Firths of Forth, Tay, and Moray, Black- 
ness, Borrowstowness, Fifeness, Buttonness, Burleness. 

' See Chalmers, Caledonia^ vol, i. p. 487. 

* See Palgrave, Nornidndy and England^ vol. iv. p. 346. 

* A.D. 1266, 


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170 The Northmen. 

of the Crown of Scotland, but jarldoms attached to the 
kingdom of Norway, 

It may seem strange to us that the extreme north- 
western corner of Great Britain should be called SUTHER- 
LAND.^ No inhabitants of Scotland could have bestowed 
so inappropriate a name. And, accordingly, we find 
that the Gaelic peasantry call the county Catuibh.^ The 
name of Sutherland was evidently given by a people 
living still further to the north, Sutherland, in short, 
was the mainland to the south of the Orkney jarldom, 
Here, as well as in Caithness, we find numerous 
Norwegian names, such as BRORA, THURSO, WICK, 
barren uplands were left to the Gael ; while in the more 
fertile straths and glens we find the Norse suffixes -dale, 
-seter, and -ster. Names like LOCH LAXFORD* or STRATH 
HELMSDALE, in which a Celtic synonym is prefixed to 
the Norse word, seem to point to the recovery by the 
Celts of that preponderance of which, for a time, they 
had been deprived. 

In the Shetlands every local name, without exception, 
is Norwegian. The names of the farms end, as in 
Norway, in -seter or -ster, and the hills are called -kow, 
'hoy, and -holL The names of the small bays have the 
Norwegian suffix -voe, as WESTVOE, AITHSVOE, LAXVOE, 
and HAMNAVOE.* We find also burrafiord, saxaford. 
LERWICK, and SANDWICK. In the whole of the Orkneys 

1 See p. 75, supra. 

9 This word, and the first syllable of Caithness, are probably vestiges of 
an Ugrian occapation, which preceded the arrival of the Celts. In the 
Lapp language ketje means an end or extremity. See Robertson, Early 
KingSy vol. i. p. 33 ; Worsaae, Danes, p. 253. 

•' I.e. Salmon fjord. 

^ Worsaae, Danes, p. 230. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

TJu Sketlands and Orkneys. 171 

there are only two, or perhaps three, Celtic names.^ 
The names of the islands of which the group is composed 
present the Norwegian suffix, a^ island. We have SANDA 
(sand island), STRONSA (stream island), and WESTRA 
(west island) ; and often, as in the case of RONALDSA 
and EGILSA, we find the name of the first Norwegian 
chief who found here a safe island home.^ 

It was the practice of the Vikings to retire during the 
winter months to one of the small islands off" the coast, 
and to issue forth again on the return of summer to 
recommence their piracies.^ The names of the in- 
numerable islets of the Hebrides bear curious testimony 
to the prevalence of this practice. The small islands, 
with few exceptions, bear Norse appellations, while the 
local names on the mainland are almost wholly Celtic* 
. The name of LEWIS is the Norwegian Ijod-hus? the 
wharf or landing-place ; and in this island we find bays 

1 One of these is the name of the group. In the word Orkney the 
terminal syllable ey is the Norse for island. The n which precedes is, I 
imagine, a vestige of the Gaelic innis or inch^ an island. Ore is probably 
from the Gaelic orcy a whale. Diefenbach, Celtka^ voL i. p. 41. Milton 
speaks of " the haunt of seals and ores.'* Dr. Guest and Chalmers think 
that the root is the Cymric word orch^ which means a border or limit. 
Guest, On GentUe Names^ in Phil, Proc. vol. i. p. 9. 

* The Faroe Islands are wholly Norwegian. We have the islands of 

' Skene, History of the Highlanders y vol. i. p. 91. 

* There are three islands called Bemera, two called Scalpa, two called 
Pabbay. "We have also the islands of Skarpa, Tarransay, Giliisay, Barra, 
Sundera, Watersay, Mingalay, Sanderay, Plottay, Uidhay, Eriskay, Fiaray, 
Wiay, Grimsay, Rona, Calvay, Lingay, and Hellesay. Nearer to the coast 
we find Rona, Fradda, Raasay, Soa (twice), Longa, Sanday, Canna, Ulva, 
Gommeray, Stafia (cf. Stafafell, in Iceland), lona, Colonsay, Oronsay, 
Kerrcra, Skarba, Jura, Islay, Gigha, Cara, Cumbray, Ailsa, and many 

* Ansted and Latham, Channel Islands^ p. 333; Innes, Orig. Par, 
Possibly, however, the root is lod^ a bundle of fishing lines. 


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172 The Northmen. 

called SANDwrcK and NORWICK. UIG was anciently 
Wig,^ and HARRIS is a corruption of Harige.^ BROAD- 
FORD bay, in Skye, is a name identical with BREIDA 
FIORD in Iceland, and there are also the capes of TROT- 
TERNISH and VATTERNISH (water-ness). The first 
portion of this name contains the characteristic Norse 
word vatfty which appears in the names of no less than 
ten of the Hebridean lakes — -as, for example, in those of 

The Norsemen called the Hebrides the SUDREYJAR, 
or Southern Islands. The two sees of the Sudreyjar and 
of the Isle of Man were united in the eleventh century, 
and made dependent on the Archbishop of Trondhjem, 
in Norway, by whom, till the year 1334, the Episcopi 
Sudorenses were always consecrated. The Anglican 
Bishop of SODOR and Man still retains his titular supre- 
macy over those " southern isles " which have so long been 
under the pastoral care of a presbyterian Church. 

In the south of Scotland the only Scandinavian settle- 
ment on the mainland was in Dumfriesshire. Here we 
find more than a dozen names with the suffix by, and 
others ending in garths beck, and thwaite. In the neigh- 
bouring counties of Kirkcudbright and Wigton there are 
also a few outlying names of the same class. 

The Isle of Man, which at one time formed a portion 
of the kingdom of Norway, must have contained a 
considerable Norwegian population, as appears from the 
Norse names of the villages, such as COLBY, GREENABV, 

^ Innes, Orig, Par, vol. ii. p. 385. 

2 lb. p. 376. 

'In Iceland there are lakes called Langer-vatn, Apa-vatn, Groena-vatn, 
Fiski-vatn, Torfa-vatn, Sand-vatn, &c. On Norse names in the Scottish 
Isles, secWorsaae, Danes, pp. 218 — 276; Barry, Hist, of Orkney i^ p. 232. 


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Sodor and Man. 1 73 

coast we find the bays of PERWICK, FLESWICK, GREEN- 

and the islands of EYE, HOLM, the CALF, and RONALDS AY ; 
while SNEEFELL (snow hill), the highest mountain in the 
island, bears a pure Norwegian name.^ The distribution 
of these Norse names is very noteworthy. It will be 
seen by a reference to the coloured map that they are 
confined mainly to the south of the island, a circumstance 
for which I was at a loss to account, till I discovered the 
historical fact that when Goddard of Iceland conquered 
Man he divided the fertile southern portion among his 
followers, while he left the natives in possession of the 
northern and more mountainous region, where, conse- 
quently, Celtic names still prevail.^ 

In the same way that the Danish names in England 
are seen to radiate from the Wash, so the Norwegian 
immigration seems to have proceeded from Morcambe 
B^y and that part of the coast which lies opposite to the 
Isle of Man. Cumberland, Westmoreland, Lancashire, 
and Dumfriesshire contain a very considerable number 
of Scandinavian names, but comparatively few of a 
distinctively Danish cast. The lake district seems to 
have been almost exclusively peopled by Celts and 
Norwegians. The Norwegian suffixes, 'gilly -garth, 
-haugh, 'thwaite^ -force^ and -fell, are abundant ; while 
the Danish forms, -tliorpe and -toft, are almost unknown ; 
and the Anglo-Saxon test-words, -ham, -ford, -worth, and 
-ton, are comparatively rare.^ 

Of the other test-words we find ey in WALNEY and 

^ See p. 5, supra ; and Worsaae, Danes, p. 279. 
' Train, Isle of Man^ vol. i. p. 78. 
* See pp. 158, 159, supra. 


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174 ' ^'^^ Northmen, 

Windermere, and in RAMPSHOLME on Ulleswater. Ness 
occurs in the names of BOWNESS, SHINBURNESS, SCAR 
NESS, and FURNESS: — wick in KESWICK on Derwent- 
water, and in BLOWICK on Ulleswater. The Norwegfian 
word stackr, a columnar rock, was appropriately ap- 
plied to the mountains which bear the names of STAKE, 
the STICKS, PIKE o' STICKLE, and the HAY STACKS (the 
high rocks). 

More than 150 different personal names of the Icelandic 
type are preserved in the local topography of the lake 
district. According to the last census ^ there are now 
only sixty-three surnames in Iceland, of which the 
commonest are Kettle, Halle, Ormur, and Gils. In 
Cumberland and Westmoreland these are preserved in 

THWAITE, and GELLSTONE, By far the most common 
Christian names in Iceland are Olafur (borne by 992 
persons), Einer (by ^7^\ and Bjarni (by 869). These 
HOUSE. We find the name of Hrani (now Rennie) in 
BUTTERGILL ; Geit^ in gateswater, gatesgarth, and 


The Norse haugr, a sepulchral mound, is often found 
in the names of mountains crowned by conspicuous 

^ The suffix <7, which denotes a river as well as an island, appears in the 
river names of the Greta, Liza, Wiza, Rotha, Bretha, Rathay, Calda, as 
well as in the Ea, and the Eamont. See Ferguson, Northmen^ p. 113. 

' Symington, Icdandy p. 182. 

* Ferguson, Northnun in Cumberland^ pp. 105, 130. 

* Ferguson, Northmen, pp. 128 — 135. See the Landnamaboky passim. 


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The Lake District — Cheshire. 175 

tumuli. The name of the old Viking who lies buried 
here is often preserved in the first portion of such local 
and BUTTEHLIP HOW, are, probably, the burial-places of 
the forgotten heroes, Solvar, Boll, Skall, and Buthar 

In Cheshire, with one remarkable local exception, we 
find no vestiges of Norse colonists. But the spit of land 
called the Wirral, between the Dee and the Mersey, 
seems to have allured them by its excellent harbours, 
and the protection afforded by its almost insular cha- 
racter.* Here, in fact, we find geographical conditions 
similar to those which gave rise to the two isolated 
Norse colonies at the mouths of the Stour and the 
Yare,^ and the result is no less remarkable. In this space 
of about twelve miles by six there is scarcely a single 
Anglo-Saxon name, while we find the Norse villages 
GREASBY. We find also the Norse names of SHOTWlCK, 
and in the centre of the district is the village of THING- 
WALL, a name which indicates the position of the meeting 
place of the Thing, the assembly in which the little 
colony of Northmen exercised their accustomed privileges 
of local self-government* 

The Vikings cruised around the coasts of North Wales, 
but we find no trace of settlements. The names of the 

* Fei^son, Northmen in Cumberland^ p. 55. 

* We read of a large body of Scandinavian invaders who took refuge 
here. Turner, Anglo-Saxons^ vol. t p. 397. 

' See pp. 165, 166, supra. 
4 See Chapter XII. 


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1 ^(> The Northmm, 

show their familiar acquaintance with the dangerous 
points on this rockbound coast ; while PORT DYN NOR- 
WIG, the " Port of the Norway Man," near Bangor, may 
probably indicate a haven which they frequented. 

There is a curious exception to the broad assertion 
that has been made ^ as to the non-existence of Norse 
names to the south of Watling Street. The sea-rovers, 
with infallible instinct, seem to have detected the best 
harbour in the kingdom, and to have found shelter for 
their vessels in the fjords of the Pembrokeshire coast 
— the deep land-bound channels of MILFORD, HAVER- 
FORD,^ WHITEFORD,* and SKERRYFORD, and the neigh- 
bouring creeks of WATHWICK, LITTLE WICK, OXWICH, 
and MUGGLESWICK BAY. The dangerous rocks and 
islands which fringe this coast likewise bear Norwegian 
names; such are the STACK Rocks, STACKPOLE Head, 


the NAZE, STRUMBLE Head, the WORM'S Head, NASH 
(Naze) Point, and DUNGENESS (Dangemess). Most of 
the names on the mainland are Celtic, but the neigh- 
bouring islands bear the Norse names of CALDY (Cold 
Island), BARRY (Bare Island), SULLY (Ploughed Island), 

1 From the Norse <frmr^ a serpent. The Wurmshead in South Wales 
presents the Saxonized form of the same word. In Stanfield's admirable 
picture of this rock we seem to see the sea serpent raising its head and the 
half of its huge length above the waves. 

^ See p. 1 68, supra, 

' Havenfjord. So there is a Hafnaf jord in Iceland. 

* "Whiteford Sands show that the estuary of the Burry must hay received 
from the Norsemen the appropriate name of Hvit-jjora, 


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The Pembrokeshire Settlement 177 

LUNDY (Grove Island), SKOKHOLM (Wooded Island), 

No less than twenty-four of the headlands on the 
Pembrokeshire coast are occupied by camps, which we 
may regard as the first beginning of a Scandinavian 
occupation of the soil. Round the shores of Milford 
Haven a little colony of permanent settlers was estalished 
in the villages of FREYSTROP (Freysthorpe), STUDDA, 
Vikings who founded this Welsh colony, Harold, Bakki, 
Hamill, Grim, Hiarn, Lambi, Thomi, Thor, Gorm, 
Brodor, Solvar, Hogni, and Buthar have left us their 
HILL, and BUTTER HILL, several of which may be the 
burial-places of those whose names they bear.® 

There is, occasionally, in Pembrokeshire, a difficulty 
in distinguishing between the Norse names and those 
which are due to the colony of Flemings which was 
established in this district during the reign of Henry I. 
" Flandrenses, tempore Regis Henrici primi ... ad 
occidentalem Walliae partem, apud Haverford, sunt 
translati."* These colonists came from a portion of 

1 A Urge body of Danes took refuge in Flatholm in the year 918. St 
John, Four Conquests^ vol. i. p. 322. 

' The last syllable in these names wonld seem not to be the Anglo-Saxon 
ion^ but was probably derived from the memorial stone erected over the 
grave of some departed hero. 

' See Ferguson, NorthnuHy pp. 10^ 66, 68. 

^ Higden's Ckronkle, apud Gale, Seriptores, voL iii. p. 21a 


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1 78 The Northmen, 

Flanders which was submerged by an irruption of the 
sea in the year 1 1 10. LEWESTON, RICKESTON, ROBESTON, 
TON belong to a class of names which we find nowhere 
else in the kingdom — names given, not by Saxon or 
Danish pagans, but by Christianized settlers, men bearing 
the names, not of Thurstan, Gorm, or Grim, but of 
Lewes, Richard, Robert, Walter, and others common in 
the twelfth century.^ The names of the village of 
FLEMINGSTON, and of the VIA FLANDRICA, which runs 
along the crest of the Precelly mountains, afford ethno- 
logical evidence still more conclusive, and TUCKING Mill 
(Clothmaking Mill) shows the nature of the industry 
which was imported. 

This Pembrokeshire settlement was, probably, at first, 
little more than a nest of pirates, who sallied forth to 
plunder the opposite coast of the Channel, and to prey 
upon any passing merchant craft. That the Somerset- 
shire coast was not unknown to them we see from the 
Norse names of WICK Rock at one entrance of Bridge- 
water Bay, and HOW Rock at the other. The sands 
which lie in the estuary of the Yeo are called Langford 
grounds — an indication that this " long fiord " was 
known to the Northmen by the appropriate name of 

The chief port of Scilly bears the name of GRIMSBY, 
and ST. AGNES, the name of the most southern island, is 
a corruption of the old Norse name Hagenes. On the 
mainland of Cornwall only one station of the North- 

1 Sec Cliffc, South Wales^ p. 257; Lappenberg, Angh-Narman Kings, 
p. 545; Giraldus Cambrensis, Itin, ]ib. i. cap. ii; and the notes of 
H. LIuyd, Camden, and Sir R. C. Hoare upon the passage. 


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Devonshire. I79 

men can be discovered, but the position is admirably 
adapted for refitting ships, and obtaining necessary sup- 
plies. Near the Lizard Point a deep inlet bears the 
name of HELFORD, and the village at its head is called 
GWEEK, evidently a corruption of Wick.^ 

In Devonshire there are two or three clusters of Norse 
names. These present the characteristic suffix by in 
a form nearly approaching to the old Norse form byr^ 
which is preserved in the boer of the Icelandic farms.^ 
In North Devon we find ROCKBEER and BEAR, both in 
the neighbourhood of the fjord of bideford. On the 
left bank of the estuary of the Exe,^ in South Devon, 
we have another cluster of such names, comprising 

the villages of AYLESBERE, ROCKBERE, LARKBEER, and 

HOUNDBERE. We find also 'byestock and thorp, 
EXWICK and COWICK, the NESS at Teignmouth, the 
SKERRIES close by, and a place called NORMANS (i.e. 
Northman's) CROSS. Here a portion of the Roman road 
to Exeter takes the Danish name STRAIGHTGATE. The 
Northmen penetrated up the estuary of the Tamar as 
well as up that of the Exe. In the Saxon Chronicle 
(a.D. 997) we read of a descent of the Danes at Lidford ; 
and in this neighbourhood we find LANGABEER, BEARDON, 
and THURSHELTON, as well as BURN and BEARA (byr 
water), both on the banks of brooks. At the mouth of 

1 See the review of the ist edition of Words and Places in the Times o 
March 26, 1864. 

* E,g. Ossaboer, in Iceland. In Essex and Suffolk we find Buers and 
Bures. See p. 157, supra. . 

> On the numerous Danish incursions into Devonshire see Strinnholm, 
JVikinffsiige, p. 57; Turner, Anglo-Saxons, vol. i. pp. 542, 591, 601 j 
vol. ii. pp. 306^ 312, 317. In 877 the Danes were in possescsion of Exeter. 
St John, Four Conquests^ vol I p. 266. 

N 2 


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1 80 The Northmen, 

the Otter, again/ we find the villages of BEER, BERE- 
WOOD, and BOVY2 in beer. Near Poole Harbour^ we 
have East HOLME, BERE Regis, and SWANWICK. There 
was another Swanwick on Southampton Water, which 
has been corrupted to SWAN AGE. In the Saxon Chronicle 
(A.D. 877) we read of the defeat of a Danish fleet at 
Swanawic on the south coast ; and it has beea con- 
jectured, with some probability, that a chief bearing the 
common Danish name of Sweyn may have been in 
command, from whom we derive the name of " Sweyn's 
all in Hampshire, exhibit the suffix which is so charac- 
teristic of Danish settlements. At holmsdale, in 
Surrey, we find an isolated Danish name. At this spot 
the crews of 350 ships, who had marched inland, were 
cut off by Ethelwulf, in the year 852,* and it is probable 
that the survivors may have settled in the neighbour- 
hood. Further to the north we find THORPE, near 
Chertsey. There seem to be traces of the Danes at 
BERWICK and seaford near Beachy Head, and at HOLM- 
STONE * and WICK in Romney Marsh, as well as at the 
point of DUNGENESS, or " Danger Cape." Finally, we 

1 The Danes landed at Seaton in 937. See Saxon ChromcU. 

' This approximates to the Norman form bomf. See pp. 157, 186. 

s We frequently read of Danish descents in Dorset See Turner, Anglo- 
Saxons^ vol. ii. pp. 306, 312 ; Strinnholm, Wikingziigty p. 55 ; St John, 
Four Conquests^ vol. L p. 443. 

* See Cough's Camden^ vol. i. p. 329. Sweyn was a common Danish 
name. There are three swantons in Norfolk. At swanescomb, near 
Greenhithe, there are several barrows ; and here, it has been thought, 
Sweyn, king of Denmark, landed. 

* St John, Four Coftquests, voL i. p. 227. Cf. Turner, Angio-Saxons^ 
vol. i. p. 590. 

* Here a battle was fought between Danes and Saxons. The Danes had 
a fortress in Romney Marsh. Turner, Angh-Saxons^ yoL i. p. 387. 


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Ireland, i8r 

find them on the Kentish coast at SANDWICH, the sandy- 
bay — a name which occurs also in Iceland, in Norway, 
in the Orkneys, in the Hebrides, and in the Shetlands. 
Sandwich in Kent was one of the favourite stations for 
the Danish fleets ; they were there in the years 851 and 
1014, as we learn from the Saxon Chronicle. 

The Northmen would appear to have established 
themselves in Ireland rather for purposes of trade 
than of colonization. Their ships sailed up the great 

CARLINGFORD, and anchored in the bays of LIMERICK 
and WICKLOW. In Kerry we find the name of SMER- 
WICK, or "butter bay," then apparently, as now, a 
trading station for the produce of the surrounding dis- 
trict The name of COPLAND Island, near Belfast, 
shows that here was a trading station of the Norse mer- 
chants, who trafficked in English slaves* and other 
merchandize. 'As we approach Dublin the numerous 
Norse names along the coast — LA^BAY* I§land, DALKEY 
Island, -Ireland's EYE, the SKERRIES, the Hill of HOWTH, 
and LEIXLIP, the " salmon leap," on the Liffey — prepare 
us to learn that the Scandinavians in Publin were go- 
verned by their own laws till the thirteenth century, and 
that, as in London, they had their own separate quarter 
of the city, guarded by walls and gates — OXMANTOWN, 
that is, Ostmantown, the town of the men from the 
East* ... 

The general geographical acquaintance which the 

1 To the south of Wexford is the Barony of FORTH (fjord). 

* See Goldwin Smith, Irish History and Irish Character, p. 48. 

' Worsaae, Danes and Norwegians, pp. 323, 349. The Ostmen pos- 
sessed the four cities of Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, and Cork. There 
were Ostman kings of Limerick, Dublin, and Waterford. Lappenberg, 
Anglo-Norman Kings, p. 64; Strinnholm, Wikingziige, p. 57. 


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1 82 

The Northmen. 

Northmen had with the whole of Ireland is shown by 
the fact that three out of the four Irish provinces, 
namely, LEINSTER, MUNSTER, and ULSTER, present 
the Norse suffix ster^ a place, which is so common in local 
names in the Shetlands and in Norway.^ 

In order to estimate with some exactitude the pro- 
portionate amount of the Scandinavian element in the 
different parts of England, the following table has been 
carefully compiled. It gives the proportion of Norse 
names to the acreage of the several counties-^the 
proportion in Kent being taken as the unit of compu- 
tation. The names in those counties which are printed 
in italics exhibit a Norwegian rather than a Danish 

Intensity of the Scandinavian element of population, 
as indicated by village names : — 

Lancashire • • • • 28 

Durham 30 

West Riding "... 60 
Nottingham . • • . 62 

Norfolk 76 

Northampton ... 83 

Rutland 83 

North Riding ... 11 1 

Cumberland .... 124 

Westmoreland . . • 125 

East Riding .... 126 

Lincolnshire . • . 165 

Leicestershire • . . 169* 

The actual number of names is — in Lincolnshire, 
about 300; in Leicestershire, Westmoreland, Cumber* 

1 See p. 170^ si^a. 

* In several particulars this table will be found to differ from that given by 
Mr. Worsaae, Danes and Norwegiansy p. 71. 

I, I have excluded sufl&xes common to the Anglo-Saxon and the Noise 
languages. 2. I have 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



Glamorgan . • • . 


















Pembroke .... 


Northumberland . . 


Derbyshire .... 



Relative Intensity of the Scandinavian Element, 1 83\ 



land, and each of the Ridings about lOo; in Norfolk, v 

Northampton, Notts, and Lancashire, about 50 ; in Dur- > 

ham and Northumberland, about 20 ; in Suffolk, Derby, 
Cheshire, Rutland, and Pembroke, about a dozen ; in 
Bucks, Bedford, and Warwick, not more than half that 

From the character of the Norse names upon the map 
of the British Isles, we may class the districts affected by 
Scandinavian influence under three general divisions : — 

I. Places visited only for trade or booty. These fringe 
the coast, and are the names of bays, capes, or islands. 
The surrounding villages have Saxon or Celtic names. 
To this class belong, mostly, the names along the 
estuaries of the Thames and Severn, and along the 
coasts of Kent, Sussex, Essex, North Wales, Ireland, and 
Eastern Scotland. 

II. Isolated settlements amid a hostile population. 
These are found in places which are nearly surrounded 
by water, and which are furnished with good harbours. 
In this class we must include the settlements near Har- 
wich, Yarmouth, Birkenhead, and Milford. 

III. The Danelagh or Danish kingdom, where the 
Norse element of the population was predominant Yet 

2. I baye excluded names on the coast not denoting colonization. 

3. I have calculated the proportion of names to the acreage of each 
county, instead of giving the absolute number of names. 

The latter mode of computation is deceptive. An example will make 
this plain. From Mr. Worsaae's table it appears that the Scandinavian 
names in Lincolnshire, a very large county, are three times as numerous as 
those in Leicestershire, a much smaller one, whereas, in reality, the Norse 
element is actually less intense in Lincolnshire than it is in Leicestershire. 
In fact, portions of Lincolnshire are almost destitute of Norse names : for 
example, the Fens, which in their nomenclature are neither Saxon nor 
Danish, but English, having been reclaimed at a period when the distinction 
between Dane and Saxon had died away. See the coloured map. 


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1 84 T}ie Northmen, 

even here the names are clustered, rather than uniformly 
distributed. Such clusters of names are to be found 
near Stamford, Sleaford, Horncastle, Market Rasen, 
Melton Mowbray, Leicester, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, New- 
ark, Lincoln, Grimsby, York, and Bridlington. 

The Scandinavians who settled in France have left 
few memorials of their speech in our French dictionaries 
— few permanent conquests have had so slight an in- 
fluence on the language of the conquered nation. The 
conquerors married native women, and their sons seem 
only to have learned the language spoken by their 
mothers ; so that, except in the neighbourhood of 
Bayeux, where the Norman speech was grafted on the 
nearly-related and firmly-established language of the 
Saxon shore, the sons of the soil at no time spoke a 
Scandinavian dialect.^ But the map of Normandy sup- 
plies abundant traces of the Scandinavian conquest. 
The accompanying sketch-map shows the distribution 

1 A few Norse words still survive in the dialect of Nonnandy. Thus 
we have — 

In Nonnandy. 

In Iceland. 



















These are not the terms used either in French or Danish. The French 
expressions would be dejeiiner, poche, voisin, habile, moribond, and cabane; 
and the modem Danish would be frokost, lomme, nabo, tlink, dodsens, and 
hytte. See Etienne Borring, Sur la Limite Miridionale de la ATonarchU 
Da noise, p. 4. In modem French there are a few nautical terms of Danish 
origin. See Diez, Kom, Gram, vol. i. p. 51. Cf. Max Miiller, Lectures, 
2nd series, p. 264. 


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£^ TOT 



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The Northmen in France. 185 

of these names, and, as has been already observed, it 
proves how carefully the Scandinavians avoided all 
encroachment on the district already occupied by Saxon 

We find the names of the original Scandinavian 
settlers are thickly scattered over the land. We have 
seen that in England the former abodes of the North- 
men — Grim, Biorn, Harold, Thor, Guddar, and Haco ^ — 
go by the names of Grimsby, Bumthwaite, Harroby, 
Thoresby, Guttersby, and Hacconby : so in Normandy 
these 3ame personal appelations occur in the village- 

The Norse gardr^ an inclosure, or yard, occurs in Nor- 
names which we may compare with Fishguard in Pem- 
brokeshire, Applegarth in Yorkshire, and iEblegaard in 
Denmark. Tofty which also means an inclosure, takes 
the form tot in Normandy, as in YVETOT, Ivo*s toft; 
PLUMETOT, flower toft ; lilletot, little toft ; ROUTOT, 
Rodtot, or red toft ; CRIQUETOT, crooked toft ; BERQUE- 
TOT, birch toft; HAUTOT, high toft; LANGETOT, long 
toft We have also Pr^tot, Tournetot, Bouquetot, 
Grastot, Appetot, Garnetot, Ansetot, Turretot, He- 
bertot, Cristot, Brestot, Franquetot, Raffetot, Houdetot, 
and others, about one hundred in all. Toft being a 
Danish * rather than a Norwegian suffix, would incline 

1 AU these names are found in the Landnamahok of I<;eland. 

* See Depping, vol. ii. p. 339; Palgrave, voL i. p. 702; Ferguson, 
p. 128 ; AVoTsaae, p. 69 ; Gerville ; Petersen. This suffix vUU has been 
usually supposed to be the Romance word vUlci, It is far more probable, 
however, that it is the Teutonic weiUr, a single house. See p. 159, supra. 

' Moreover, in Denmark we often find combinations identical with some 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

1 86 The Northmen^ 

us to suppose, from its frequent occurrence, that the 
conquerors of Normandy were Danes rather than Nor- 
wegians ; and the total absence of thwaitey the Norw^ian 
test-word, tends to strengthen this supposition. 

The suffix by^ so common in Danish England, gene- 
rally takes, in Normandy, the form bcBuf, bufy or bue, 
as in the cases of CRIQUEBUF (Crogby, or crooked-by), 
MARBCEUF (Markby), QUITTEBEUF (Whitby, or white- 
by), DAUBEUF (Dale-by), CARQUEBUF (Kirkby), QUILLE- 

The form bufy or basuf, seems very remote from the old 
Norse boer; but a few names ending in btie, such as 
LONGBUE and 'roURNEBUE,^ and still more the village 
of BURES, exhibit the transitional forms through which 
the names in buf may probably have passed. HAMBYE 
and COLOMBY are the only instances of the English form 
which I can find. 

The village of LE TORP gives us the word thorpe^ 
which, however, more usually appears in the cor- 
rupted form of torbcy tourf, or tourbey as in the case of 

The name of the castle-crowned rock of FALAISE 
reminds us of \h^ fells of Cumberland.* 

The name of the river DIEPPE, which was afterwards * 
given to the town which was built beside it, is iden- 
tical with that of the Diupa, or **deep water" in 

of those just enumerated. Such are Blumtofte, Rodtofte, Langetofte, and 
Grastofte. See Le Prevost, Recherchts^ pp. 41, 64. 

1 Norse kdlda^ German quelU, a well or river-source. La Roquette, 
Reckenkes^ p. 46 ; Ferguson, Nortknun^ p. 1 19. 

' Cf. Taamby, in Denmark. 

» See Leo, An^Saxon NameSy pp. 43 — 50. Cf. the German yS/sryi. 

* Petersen, p. 49. 

' In the tenth century. 


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Normandy. 187 

Iceland ; and it may be compared with " The Deeps " 
near Boston.^ 

From the Norse beckr (Danish bcsc), a brook, we have 
CAUDEBEC, the " cold brook," the same name as that of 
the Cawdbeck in the Lake District, and the Kaldbakr 
in Iceland. The name of the BRIQUEBEC, the ** birch- 
fringed brook," is the same as that of the Birkbeck in 
Westmoreland. The HOULBEC, the "brook in the 
hollow," corresponds to the Holbeck in Lincolnshire, 
anO the Holbek in Denmark. The name of bolbec we 
may compare with Bolbek in Denmark ; and the name 
of FOULBEC, or " muddy brook," is identical with that of 
the Fulbeck in Lincolnshire. 

The Danish 0, an island, is seen in Eu, Cantaleu, 
Jersey, Guernsey, and Aldemey. 

The suffix 'Jleur^ which we find in HONFLEUR and 
other names, is derived from the Norse Jliot, ^ a small 
river or channel, which we have in Purfleet, Northfleet, 
and many other English names. The phonetic resem- 
blance between Jleur 2XiA fleet may seem slight, but the 
identification is placed beyond a doubt by the fact 
that HARFLEUR was anciently written Herosfluet ; while 
Rqger de Hovenden calls BARFLEUR by the name of 
Barbeflet, and Odericus Vitalis calls it Barbeflot. VITTE- 
FLEUR is the "white river," and FIQUEFLEUR seems to 
be a corruption of Wickfleet, " the river in the bay." * 

Holme, a river island, appears in the names of TUR- 

^ Palgrave^ Normandy and England^ vol ii. p. Ill; La Roquette, 


^ Danish yS<«/, English /Wl See Petersen, Recherches^ p. 38 ; Depping, 
ExpAliiicnSt vol. ii. p. 341. 

s Havre may be either from the Norse hif/n^ a haven, or from the Celtic 
aber, a river's mouth. See Adelung, MithridaUs^ vol. ii. p. 41 ; Diefen- 
bach, Celikoj i. p. 23, 


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1 88 The Northmen. 

HULME, NIHOU,^ and LE HOULME, near Rouen. Cape 
de la HOGUE, Cape HOC, and Cape le HODE, may be 
compared with the Cape near Dublin, called the Hill of 
Howth. This is the old Norse haugr^ a sepulchral 
mound, the same word which appears in the haugJts of 

TAL, and BRUQUEDALLE, remind us of the dales of 
Westmoreland and the North Riding. 

ESCOVES * seems to be the Icelandic skogVy and corre- 
sponds to the English shaw^ a wood, or shady place. 
BosCy a wood, or bushy place, is a very common suffix in 
Normandy, as in the names VERBOSC, bricquebosq, 
and BANDRIBOSC. Holty a wood, occurs in the name 
TERHOULDE, or Theroude.^ The Calf of Man is re- 
peated in LE CAUF.* 

Beyond the district of Norse colonization we have a 
few scattered names of bays and capes, indicating occa- 
sional visits of the Vikings. Such are Cape GRINEZ, or 
Greyness, near Calais ; WYK in Belgium ; QUANTOVIC ; 
VIGO Bay in the North of Spain,^ arid possibly VICO in 
the bay of Naples. The BERLINGAS, a group of rocky 
islets forty miles north-west of Lisbon, would appear, 
from the name, to have been a station of the North- 

1 Granted to one Niel, or Njal, A.D. 920. Gerville, Noms^ p. 229 ; La 
Roquette, p. 48. 

* Petersen, p. 50. 

• Petersen, p. 50 ; Depping, vol. ii. p. 344. 

^ On the Norse names in Normandy, see Depping, Expiditums Maritimes 
des Normands^ vol. ii. pp. 339 — ^342 ; Lappenberg, England under the 
Anglo-Norman KingSy pp. 97 — 100; Borring, Sur la LimiU Miridianale 
de la Monarchie Danoise: and the essays of Palgrave ; Petersen; La 
Roquette ; Le Prevost ; Gerville ; and Latham. 

' A Danish fleet was destroyed at Compostella. Strinnholm, Wikingzugey 
vol. i. pp. 144, 145 ; Depping, vol. i. p. no. 


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The Northmen in Sicily. 189 

men.^ HASTINGUES, a river-island near Bayonne, probably 
takes its name from the renowned Viking Hasting, who 
was long the terror of France, Spain, and Italy, * and the 
He de BIERE in the Loire was no doubt so called from 
the huts which the Danes erected upon it for the accom- 
modation of their prisoners.* 

SCARANOS, on the southern coast of Sicily, * is an 
almost solitary memorial of the visits of the Vikings to 
the Mediterranean.^ With this name we may compare 
those of Scarnose on the coast of Banff, Scarness in 
Cumberland, and Sheemess on the Thames. The SKERKI 
rocks, also on the Sicilian coast,, may not improbably 
have received from the Northmen the name of the 
Skerries, or Scar Isles, which was so frequently given to 
similar dangerous needles of sea-washed rock. 

The most easterly Norse name is KIBOTUS (Cheve- 
tot), near Helenopolis, on the Hellespont. Here was 
the station of the Vaeringer, or Varangian guard of the 
Byzantine Emperors, who were afterwards reinforced by 
the Ingloi, or Saxon refugees, who fled from the Norman 

The Norman conquest of England has left few traces 

' This patronymic is fonnd on the Baltic coast, in Friesland, and in 
England, sec p. 151, supra. 

• Crichton, Scandinavia^ vol. I p. 166 ; Strinnholm, Wikingziige, vol. i. 
p. 26 ; Depping, Expiditions des Normands, vol. L pp. 122, 132. 

' See Strinnholm, WikingtUge, vol. i p. 34. 

< On the exploits of the Northmen in Sicily, see the Saga of Harold 
Haidiida, in Laing's Heimskringia^ vol. iii. p. 7. 

• Talbot, English Etymologies, p. 376. 

• See Lappenbeig, Anglo-Norman Kings, p. 114. We find the name 
of these Warings, or Varangians, at varengefjord in Norway, varenge- 
viLLE in Normandy, wibringerwaard on the coast of Holland, and at 
many places in England. See p. 129, supra. On the etymology of the 
name see Strinnholm, WikingtUge, voL i pp. 301, 312. 


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\ go The Northmen . 

on the map. There was in no sense any coloniza** 
tion, as in the case of the previous Saxon and Danish 
invasions; nor was there even such a general trans- 
ference of landed property as took place in Normandy, 
and which is there so fully attested by the local 
names. The companions of the Conqueror were but a 
few thousands in number, and they were widely dis- 
persed over the soil. A few Norman-French names, 
however, may be still pointed to as memorials of the 
conquest^ Of these RICHMOND* in Yorkshire, and 
MONTGOMERY * on the Welsh border, are the most con- 
spicuous. At MALPAS was a castle built by the first 
Norman Earl of Chester to guard the " bad pass " into 
the valley of the Dee.* MONTFORD, or Montesfort, in 
Shropshire, and MOLD in Flintshire, anciently Mont- 
hault * (Mons Altus) were also frontier fortresses ; MONT- 
ACUTE Hill, in Somerset, has Mortaine's Norman castle 
on its summit, and a Norman abbey at its foot The 
commanding situation of BELVOIR castle justifies its 
Norman name. At BEAUMONT* near Oxford, was a 
palace of the Norman kings ; and at FLESHY (plaisir) in 
Essex, the seat of the High Constables of England, the 

^ The only Anglo-Nonnan su£Bixes seem to be clere^ manor^ and courts as 
in HIGHCLERE, BEAUMANOIR, and HAMPTON COURT. We have also a few 
names like chester-le-street, bolton-le-moor, and laughton-en-I£- 


' Thierry, Conquest, p. 90. Henry IV. transferred to his Surrey palace 
the name of his Yorkshire earldom. 

* The same story is told in another language by the Welsh name of 
Montgomery— Tre-faldwyn, or Baldwin's Town. See Borrow, Wild WaUs^ 
vol. iii. p. 97. 

^ Ormerod, Hist of Chester^ voL ii. p. 328 ; Chamock, Local Elymol. 

p. 173. 

* Cambro-Britoftf voL i. p. 136. 

* Cough's Camden, voL ii. p. 21. 


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Vestiges of the Norman Conquest 19I 

ruins of the Noraian ke6p are still visible.^ BEAUCHAMP- 
OTTON,near Castle Hedingham, bears the name of Ottone, 
the skilful goldsmith who fashioned the tomb of the 
Conqueror at Caen.* We find the Norman abbeys of 
RlEVAUX and JORVEAUX in Yorkshire, BFAULIEU in 
Hampshire, DELAPRE in Northamptonshire, -^nd the 
Augustinian Priory of GRACEDIEU in Leicestershire, 
The Norman family of St. Clare, or Clarence, has be- 
stowed its name upon an English town, an Irish county, 
a royal dukedom, and a Cambridge college.* We have 
the names of Norman barons at STOKE-MANDEVILLE, 
in the county of Sussex, where the Conqueror landed, 
and where the actual transfer of estates seems to have 
taken place to a greater extent than in other counties. 
Sussex is the only English county which is divided into 
rapes, as well as into hundreds or wapentakes. While 
the hundred seems to indicate the peaceful settlements 
of Saxon families, and the wapentake the defensive mili- 
tary organization of the Danish intruders, the rape, as it 
would appear, is a memorial of the violent transference 
of landed property by the Conqueror — the lands being 
plotted out for division by the hr^, or rope, just as they 

^ Gougli's Camden, vol. ii. pp. 121, 133. 

' Palgrave, Normandy and England^ voL iv. p. 2. ' 

' See Donaldson, English Ethnography, p. 60 ; Yonge, Christian Names, 
vol. L p. 385. The Clarenceaux King-at-Arms had jurisdiction over the 
Surroys, or men south of the Trent, and the Norroys* king over those to 
the north of that river. 


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192 The Northmen. 

had been by Rolf in Normandy. Illam terram (Nor- 
mandy) suis fidelibus funiculo divisit.^ 

There are some curious memorials of that influx of 
Anglo-Norman nobles into Scotland which took place 
during the reigns of David I. and Malcolm Canmore. In 
ancient records the name of Maxwell is written in the 
Norman form of Maccusville. The name of Robert de 
Montealt has been corrupted into Mowatt and MOFFAT ; 
and the families of Sinclair, Fraser, Baliol^ Bruce, Camp- 
bell, Colville, Somerville, Grant (le Grand), and Fleming, 
are all, as their names bear witness, of continental an- 
cestry.* Richard Waleys — that is, Richard the Foreigner 
— ^was the ancestor of the great Wallace, and has left his 
name at RICHARDTUN in Ayrshire. The ancestor of the 
Maule family has left his name at Maleville, or MEL- 
VILLE, in Lothian. SETON takes its name from a Nqr- 
man adventurer called Say. TANKERTON, in Clydesdale, 
was the fief of Tancard, or Tancred, a Fleming who 
came to Scotland in the reign of Malcolm IV. And a 
few village names like INGLISTON, NORMANTON, and 
FLEMINGTON, afford additional evidence of the exten- 
sive immigration of foreign adventurers which was 
encouraged by the Scottish kings. 

1 Dudo, De Moribus Norm, Ducum, apud Duchesne, Hist Norm, ScripL 
p. 85. The districts of Iceland are called Hreppar. The hyde, the Saxon 
unit of land, seems to have been a portion measured off with a thimg^ as 
the rape was with a rop€. See Palgrave, Normandy and England^ vol. i. 
p. 692; voL iii. p. 395; Robertson, Early Kings^ vol. ii. p. 213. 

' See Buchanan, Scottish Surnames^ pp. 42, 43 ; Palgrave, Normandy 
and England^ voL iii. Appendix, and vol. iv. p. 298 ; Dugdale, Chalmers, 
and the Charters. Skene, History of the Highlanders^ voL il p. 280, &c., 
attempts to disprove the supposed Norman origin of the Campbells aad 
other Scottish families. He admits, however, the case of the Grants ; 
vol. ii. p. 255. 


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The Celts. 193 



Prevalerue of Celtic Names in £urope— Antiquity of River-names— The roots 
Avon, Dur, Stour, Esk, Rhe, and Don— Myth of the Danaides— Hybrid 
composition, and reduplication of synonyms — AdjectrvcU river-names : the 
Yare, Alne, Ban, Douglas, Leven, Tame, Aire, Cam, and Clyde— Celtic 
mountain-nantes : cefn, pen, cenn, dun — Names of Rocks — Valleys — Lakes 
—Dwellings — Cymric and Gadhdic test-words — Celts in GalcUia — Celts in 
Germany, France, and Spain — Euskarian Names — Gradual retrocession 
of Celts in England^Amount of the Celtic element — Division of Scotland 
between the Pictsand Gaels — Inver and Aber — Ethnology of the Isle 
of Man. 

Europe has been peopled by successive immigrations 
from the East. Five great waves of population have 
rolled in, each in its turn urging the flood which had 
preceded it further and further toward the West. The 
mighty Celtic inundation is the first which we can dis- 
tinctly trace in its progress across Europe, forced on- 
ward by the succeding deluges of the Romance, Teu- 
tonic, and Sclavonic peoples, till at length it was driven 
forward into the far western extremities of Europe. 

The Celts were divided into two gfreat branches, which 
followed one another on their passage across Europe. 
Both branches spoke languages of the same stock, but 
distinguished by dialectic differences as great or greater 
than those which divide Greek from Latin, or English 
from German. There are living tongues belonging to 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

194 T^he Celts. 

each of these branches. The first, or Gadhelic branch, 
is now represented by the Erse of Ireland, the Gaelic of 
the Scotch Highlands, and the Manx of the Isle of 
Man ; the second, or Cymric, by the Welsh of Wales, 
and the Brezonec or Armorican of Brittany, which is 
still spoken by a million and a half of Frenchmen,^ 

Although both of these branches of the Celtic speech 
now survive only in the extreme corners of western 
Europe, yet, by the evidence of local names, it may be 
shown that they prevailed at one time over a great part 
of the continent of Europe, before the Teutonic and 
Romance nations had expelled or absorbed the once 
dominant Celts. In the geographical nomenclature of 
Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, and England, 
we find a Celtic substratum underlying the superficial 
deposit of Teutonic and Romance names. These Celtic 
roots form the chief available evidence on which we can 
rely when investigating the immigrations of the Celtic 

We shall now proceed to adduce a few fragments of 
the vast mass of evidence which has been collected by 
numerous industrious explorers, and which seems to 
justify them in their belief as to the wide extension of 
the Celtic race at some unknown prehistoric period. 

One class of local names is of special value in investi- 
gations relating to primaeval history. The river-names, 
more particularly the names of important rivers, are 
everywhere the memorials of the very earliest races.- 
These river-names survive where all other names have 

^ Diefenbach, Celtica^ ii. part ii. p. 162 ; Meyer, in Bunsen's Philos, of 
Univ. History ^ vol. i. p. 14$. 

« See Forstemann, in Kuhn*s Zeitschrift fur Vet^. Spn vol. ix. p. 284 ; 
Monkhouse, Etymologies ^ -p. 64; Miiller, Markend, Vaierl, p. 124; Scfaott, 
Deut. Col. p. 218. 


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River-Nu^Hes. 195 

(Changed — ^they seem to possess an almost indestructible 
vitality. Towns may be destroyed, the sites of human 
habitation may be removed, but the ancient river-names 
are handed down from race to race ; even the names of 
the eternal hills are less permanent than those of rivers. 
Over the greater part of Europe — in Germany,^ France, 
Italy, Spain — we find villages which bear Teutonic or 
Romance names, standing on the banks of streams which 
still retain their ancient Celtic appellations. Throughout 
the whole of England there is hardly a single river-name 
which is not Celtic. By a reference to the map prefixed 
to this volume it will be seen that those districts of our 
island which are dotted thickly with Anglo-Saxon and 
Scandinavian village-names, are traversed everywhere by 
red lines, which represent the rivers whose names are 
now almost the sole evidence that survives of a once 
universal Celtic occupation of the land. 

The Celtic words which appear in the names of rivers 
may be divided into two classes. The first may be called 
the substantival class, and the second the adjectival. 

The first class consists of ancient words which mean 
simply water or river. At a time when no great inter- 
communication existed, and when books and maps were 
unknown, geographical knowledge must have been 
very slender. Hence whole tribes were acquainted with 
only one considerable river, and it sufficed, therefore, to 
call it " The Water," or " The River." Such terms were 
not at first regarded as proper names ; in many cases 
they only became proper names on the advent of a con- 
quering race. To take an example — the word afon. 
This is the usual Welsh term for a river. On a map of 

1 Almost every river-name in Germany is Celtic. Leo, Vorlesungen^ 
voL i, p. 198; Zeuss, Gram, Celt, voL ii. p. 760. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

196 The Celts. 

Wales we find at Bettws-y-Coed the "Afon LIugwy," 
or, as it is usually called by English tourists, the " River 
LIugwy." So also at Dolwyddelen we find the Afon 
Lledr, or River Lledr, and the Afon Dulas and the Afon 
Dyfi at Machynlleth. In England, however, the word 
avon is no longer a common name as it is in Wales, but has 
become a proper name. We have a River AVON which 
flows by Warwick -and Stratford, another River AVON 
flows past Bath and Bristol, and elsewhere there are 
other rivers of the same name, which will presently be 
enumerated. The same process which has converted the 
word afon from a common name into a proper name has 
also taken place with other words of the same class. 
There is, in fact, hardly a single Celtic word meaning 
stream, current, brook, channel, water, or flood, which 
does not enter largely into the river-names of Europe. 

The second class of river-names comprises those which 
may be called adjectival. The Celtic words meaning 
rough, gentle, smooth, white, black, yellow, crooked, 
broad, swift, muddy, clear, and the like, are found in the 
names of a large proportion of European rivers. For 
example, the Celtic word garw, rough, is found in the 
names of the GARRY, the YARE, the YARROW, and the 


We may now proceed to enumerate some of the more 
important names which belong to either class. 

I. Avon. This, as we have seen, is a Celtic word 
meaning " a river." It is written aon in the Manx lan- 
guage, and abhainn (pronounced avain) in Gaelic We 
find also the ancient forms amhain^ and auwon. This 

1 Cognate to the Latin amnis. Ultimately a/on is to be referred to the 
Sanskrit root ap^ water, which we see in the names of the Punj-o^, or land 
of the **five rivers;" the Do-o^, the district between the "two rivers," 


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River-Names — Avon, 197 

word has become a proper name in the case of numerous 
rivers in England, Scotland, France, and Italy. The 
Stratford AVON flows through Warwickshire and Wor- 
cestershire. The Bristol AVON divides the counties of 
Gloucester and Somerset. The Little AVON, also in 
Gloucestershire, runs near Berkeley Castle. One Hamp- 
shire AVON flows past Salisbury to Christchurch, another 
enters the sea at Lymington. We also have rivers called 
AVON or EVAN in the counties of Devon, Monmouth, 
Glamorgan, Lanark, Stirling, Banff", Kincardine, Dum- 
fries, and Ross. We find the IVE in Cumberland^ the 
ANNE in Clare, and an INN in Fife and in the Tyrol. 
The AUNE in Devon keeps close to the pronunciation of 
the Celtic word. The AUNEY, in the same county, is the 
Celtic diminutive " Little Avon," which we find also in 
the EWENNY in Glamorgan, the EVENENY in Forfar, the 
INNEY in Cornwall, and the ANEY in Meath. The AWE 
in Argyll, and the EHEN in Cumberland, are probably 
corrupted forms of the word Avon. 

We find it in composition in the AVEN-GORM in Sligo, 
the AVEN- BANNA in Wexford, the BAN-ON in Pembroke- 
shire, the AVEN-BUI in Cork, the AVEN-MORE in Mayo 
and Sligo, and the ANTON in Hampshire, as well, possibly, 
as in the case of the d-ove,i the T-OWY, the T-aff, the 
T-AVY, the T-AW, and the D-EE, anciently the V>eva? 

A very large number of French river-names^ contain the 

Ganges and Jumna ; as well as in the river-names of the Z-ab^ and of the 
Dan-»^-ius, or Dan-i/^-e. 

^ Compare the name of the Dovebridge over the Avon. 

s This initial d ox t may be a fragment of an ancient preposition, as will 
be shown below, p. 209, infra. These names are more probably to be 
referred to the Welsh dof gentle ; or dyfi^ smooth. 

> There are some remarks on the Celtic river-names of France in a paper 
by Kennedy, in Philological Trans, for 1855, p. 166; Betham, Gae\ pp. 


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198 The Celts, 

root afon. In Brittany we find the AFF, and two streams 
called AVEN. There are two streams called AVON in the 
river system of the Loire, and two in that of the Seine. 
The names of the chief French rivers often contain a 
fragment — sometimes only a single letter — of this root, 
which may, however, be identified by a comparison of 
the ancient with the modem name. Thus, the Matr^^ia 
is now the Mar«e, the Ax^wa is the Ais«e, the Sequ^wa 
is the Sei«e, the -4«tura is the Eure, the Iscauna, is the 
Yonne, the Sauc^«a is the Sa<7«e, the Meduana is the 
Mayenne, the Dura«ius is the Dord^^^e, the Garumna, is 
the Garonne, The names of an immense number of the 
smaller French streams end in on, onne, or one, which is 
probably a corruption of the root a/on. In the depart- 
ment of the Vosges, for instance, we find the Madon, the 
Durbi^;/, the Angronne, and the NoXogne, In the depart- 
ment of the Alpes-basses we have the Verd^«, the Jabr^w, 
the Auoft, the Calavon, and the ^\€one. In the depart- 
ment of the Ain there are the Loud^«, the Sevr^«, the 
Solvaany and the Aift. Elsewhere we have the Avetine^ 
the yUaine, the Yienne, the Arnon, the Ausonne, the 
Odon, the lion, the Sevan, the Aveyron, the Roscod^«, 
the Maronne, the Joxirdanne, the Dour^«, and scores of 
similar names. 

The same termination occurs frequently in the names 
of German streams, as for example, in the case of the 
hahn, anciently the hohana, the Isen, anciently the Isana, 
the Mor«, anciently the Merina, and the Arge^i, anciently 
the Argana^ while the T>rave and the Save preserve 

194 — 196 ; Astnic, Hist de LanguedoCy p. 424 ; Thierry, Hist Gaul, vol. ii, 
p. 2 ; Ferguson, Rivfr Nanus^ passim ; Pott, Etymohg. Forsch, vol iL pp. 
103, 528 ; Salverte, Essai sur les Noms, vol. ii. p. 289. 
1 Vilmar, Ortsnamm, p. 254. 


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River-Names^— Dur. 199 

the latter instead of the former portion of the ancient 

In Portugal we find the AVI A, and in Spain the ABONO 
or AVONO. The GUADI-ANA is the Anas of Strabo, with 
the Arabic prefix Wadt 

In Italy we may enumerate the Aventia., now UAvmzsi, 
the Savo, now the Savone, the Ufens, now the Au/ente, 
the Vomawus, now the Vom^wo, as well as the Amas^us, 
the Fibrous, and the Avens} 

The names of Oundla (Avondale), Wandle, Wands- 
worth, IVanstesid, Wansford, Yqtohb., and Avi^on, 
anciently Avenion, the town on the a/on or stream of 
the Rhod^/^us, or Rhone,* have all been thought to con- 
tain the same root 

II. DUR. Another word, diffused nearly as widely as 
a/on, is the Welsh dwr, water.* Prichard gives a list of 
forty-four ancient names containing this root in Italy, 
Germany, Gaul, and Britain. We find the DOUR in Fife, 
Aberdeen, and Kent, the DORE in Hereford, the DUIR in 
Lanark, the THUR in Norfolk, the DORO in Queen's 
County and Dublin, the DURRA in Cornwall, the dairan 
in Carnarvonshire, the DURARWATER and the DEARGAN 
in Argyle, the DOVER orDurheck in Nottinghamshire, the 
Glas^/«r, or grey water, in Elgin, the Kot/ier, or red water 
(Rhuddwr), in Sussex, the CdLlder,^ or winding water, 
in Lancashire (twice), Yorkshire, Cumberland, Lanark 

^ Williams, in Edinhurgh Transactions, vol. xiii p. 521 ; Essays, p. 70. 

« Salverte, Essai sur Us Noms, vol. ii. p. 289. 

' Brezonec and Cornish dour", Gaelic and Irish dur, and dobhar, pro- 
nounced doar; cf. the Greek UJwp. On this root see Diefenbach, Celtica, i. 
p. 155; Adelung, Mithrtdaies, vol. ii. p. 57; Davies, Celtic Researches, p. 
207 ; Dnncker, Orig. Germ, p. 55 ; Chamock, Local Etym. p. 93 ; Ferguson, 
River Names, pp. 37, 69; 'Rz.dXof, Neue Untersuchungen, p. 317; De 
fiellogaet, Etknoghtic, vol i. p. 218. 

* Perhaps, however, from the Norse kalldr^ cold. 


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iOO The Celts. 

:(three times), Edinburgh, Nairn, Invemiess, and Renrrew, 
the Adder in Wilts, and two of the same name in Berwick, 
the Adur in Sussex, the Adar m Mayo, the 'Hoder in 
Wiltshire, the Cheddar in Somerset, the cascade of Lo^r^, 
the lakes of Windbmere and Z>^rwent-water. The name 
Derwtnt is probably from dwr-gwyn^ the clear water.^ 
tThere is a river jD^rwent in Yorkshire, another in Derby- 
shire, a third in Cumberland, and a fourth in Durham. 
The Darwin in Lancashire, the Derwen in Denbighshire, 
the DartTit in Kent, and the Dart in Devon, are con- 
tractions of the same name,^ as well, possibly, as the 


Dorchester was the city of the Z?»r-otriges, or 
dwellers by the water, and a second ancient city of 
Dorchester, in Oxfordshire, stands upon the banks of the 

In France* we have the jD«ranius, now the Z^^rdogne, 
the An/«ra, now the Eure, and the A^rus, now the 
AdouK The Alpine Durance, anciently the Druentia, 
reminds us of Our English Derwents. We find the 
THURR in Alsace and again in Switzerland, the Durhion 
in the Vosges, the Durdsin in Normandy, the Dourdon 
and the Dourbie in the department of the Aveyron, as 
well as the Douron in Brittany. 

1 Whitaker, Htst Whalley, p. 8 ; Chamock, Local Efym. p. 85 ; 
Williams, Edin. Trans, vol. xiii. p. 522 ; Essays^ p. 72 ; Poste, BrU, 
Researches^ p. 143. Feiguson prefers Baxter's etymology, from the Welsh 
derwyn, to wind, Rrver Names, p. 141. I believe, however, that none of 
the Derwents are very tortuous, though they are all very clear. 

s That the Darent was anciently the Derwent is shown by the name of 
DERVENTio, the Roman station on the Darent. The further contraction 
into the form Dart is exhibited in the name of Dartford, the modem town 
on the same river. See Baxter, Glossarium, p. 103. 

8 Pott, Etym. Forsch, vol. ii. p. 104 ; Philolog, Proc, vol. i. p. 107 ; 
King, ItcUian Valleys^ p. 75, 


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River-Names — Stour. 20l 

In the North- Western, or Celtic part of Spain, there 
are the jDwrius, now the DOURO, the Dtien\% the 
j9«faton, the TVrio, the 7>ra, the Twrones, and the 

In Italy are the TORRi;, the two Durias or DORAS in 
Piedmont, and the TURIA, a tributary of the Tiber. In 
the slightly changed form of ter we find the root dur in 
the names of the Tr^^entum, now the Toronto, the TVaens 
now the T'nbnto,^ as well as the T'ri^bia, the TVrias, the 
TVrmus, the Dnies/^, and the \ster?^ 

In Germany we find the OdeTj the Dr^s^y the Dur- 
bach, the Z>«>Tenbach in Wiirtemberg, the Z^/Vmbach 
in Austria, the Z?«>Tenbronne near Eppingen,^ and the 
city of Marcorf«rum, now Dur^n.^ 

Stour is a very common river-name. There are im- 
portant rivers of this name in Kent, Suffolk, Dorset, 
Warwickshire, and Worcestershire ; we have the STOR in 
Holstein, the Stura, in Latium, is now the STORE, and 
STURA is a very common river-name in Northern Italy. 
The etymology of this name Stour is by no means 
certain. In Welsh, words are augmented and intensified 

1 Compare the name of the English TVent, anciently the Treonta. 

' Rawlinson, fferodotus, vol. ilL p. 202. See however p. 202, infra, 

' Mone, CelHsche Forschungen^ p. 68. 

^ In ancient Gaul we find many names of towns in which this root 
indicates that their sites were on the banks of rivers. We may specify, 
among others, Emo</»rum, Salo^iirum, Iciodurvaxi, Divo^Mnim« Brevio- 
durvaa, Gano</Knim, Velatot/iirum, Anti8so</t/rum, Octo</t/mm, Brivo- 
</»nim, Marco</Mmm, Duromnxi, 2>Krocatalaunum, and Veto</t/rum. In 
the valley of the Danube we find Gabano(/»nim, Bnigo^/i/nim, Eboi/Mrum, 
Ecto^Mrum, 'Roiodumjjsi ; and in Britain, 2>Kn>vemum, Z^vrobrivse, Dur^ 
olevum, Z)wrolitum, Z?»rocomovium, j^n>cobrivium, and ZTwrolipsus. 
Pricfaard, Researcha^ vol. iii. pp. 114 — 119. So ZURICH, in Switzerland, 
is a corruption of 7«ncum, solothurn of Salo</tfrum, and winterthur 
of y'xXfiduinxEBu Forstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbtuh^ vpl. ii. p. 446 \ 
Keferstein, Kelt, Alt, voL ii. p. 375. 


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202 The Celts. 

in meaning by means of the prefix ysy Thus we 
have — 


a lake ; 


a slough. 


a bar; 


a spear. 






to creak ; 


a shriek. 


to scratch ; 


to scrape. 


a point ; 


a spine. 


vapour (muggy) ; 




light, fickle ; 




a peak, or point ; 


a spike. 


a shoot ; 


a sprig. 

Stour^ therefore, may be only the intensitive of dur. 
On the other hand, it is possible that by a common pro- 
cess of reduplication of synonyms, which will presently 
be discussed, the word Stour may be formed from a 
prevalent root — if, water; and dwvy water. There is 
also a further complication, arising from a Teutonic 
river-root st-r, which has been discussed by Forstemann, 
a great authority.* He finds this root in the names of 
more than one hundred German streams, such as the 
Elster, Alster, Lastrau, Wilster, Ulster, Gelster, Innerste, 
Agistra, Halsterbach, Streu, Suestra, Stroo, Strobeck, 
Laster, Nister, and others. 

III. ESK. The Gaelic and Erse word for water is 
uisge? This is represented in Welsh by wysg^ a current, 
and by gwy or wy^ water. This root, subject to various 

^ Some forty instances of this augmentation may be found in Gamett's 
Essays, p. 174 ; Cf. Dtefenbach, Celtica, L pp. 90 — 96 ; Chamock, Local 
Eiynu pp. 258, 269 ; Mayhew, German Life and Manners, voL i. p. 557 » 
Zcuss, Gram. Celtica, vol. i. p. 142. ' On the name Stour, see Feiguson, 
River Names, p. 58 ; and Boudaid, Num. Iber, p. 127, who thinks it is 
the Kuskarian ast-ur, rock water. 

" In Kuhn*s Zeitschrift fiir Vergleichende Sprachforsehung, voL ix. pp. 

• Whisky is a corruption of Uisge-boy, yellow water. 


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River-Names — Esk. 20% 

phonetic mutations, is found in the names of a vast num- 
ber of rivers.* There is an ESK in Don^al, in Devon, 
in Yorkshire, in Cumberland, in Dumfries, two in For- 
farshire, and two in Edinburghshire. We have an ESKY 
in Sligo, an ESKER in King's County and in Brecknock, 
an ESKLE in Herefordshire, and an isle in Somerset 
^Jthwaite Water, and EaseAdX^, in the Lake District, 
contain the same root, as well as the EWES in Northum- 
berland and Dumfries, the ISE near Wellingborough, the 
/fboume, a tributary of the Stratford Avon, the ^^w^burn 
in Yorkshire, the -^jAboume in Sussex, and the ASH 
in Hertfordshire and Wiltshire. In Bedfordshire and in 
Hertfordshire we have the IZ ; the /rchalis was the 
ancient name of the Ivel, and the Tisa of the Te^j.^ 
The ISIS contains the root in a reduplicated form, and 
the Tam^ji>, or THAMES, is the ** broad Isis." In Wales 
we have the river which the Welsh call the WYSG, and 
the English call the USK. This Celtic word was Ro- 
manized into Isca, while another Isca in Devonshire, 
now the EXE, has given its name to -E^reter, ^'^rmoor, and 
-Ermouth. There is also an EX in Hampshire and in 
Middlesex. The Somersetshire AXE flows by ^orbridge, 
and the Devonshire AXE gives its name to ^jtrminster, 
and yjjrmouth. The ancient name of the Chelm must 
have also been the Axe, for Chelmsford was formerly 
Trajectus ad Axam, and Thaxted has been supposed 
to be a corruption of The Ax Stead.* The town of Ux- 
bridge stands on the River Colne, a later Roman appel- 

* Diefenbach, Celtica^ ii. part i. p. 327 ; Donaldson, English Ethnography^ 
p. 39; Radlof, Neue Uniersuchungen, p. 2S6. The word has been thought 
to have some Norse affinities. See Dietrich, in Haupt's Zeiischrifi^ vol. v. 
p. 228. 

• More probably from the Gadhelic Aiw, moisture. 
» Baxter, Glossarium^ p. 31. 


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204 The Celts. 

lation, which apparently superseded the Celtic natne Ux. 
The OCK joins the Thames near Oxford, the OKE is in 
Devon, and the Ban^Aurn, near Stirling, has given its 
name to a famous battle-field. The few Gadhelic names 
in England are found chiefly towards the Eastern part 
of the island ; here consequently we find three rivers 
called the OUSE,i as well as the OUSEL, the OUSEBURN, 
the USE in Buckinghamshire, UGG Mere, and OS-EY Is- 
land. Oseney * Abbey is on an island near Oxford. The 
WISK and the WasAhurn in Yorkshire, the Guash in 
Rutland, the Wissey in Norfolk, and the local names 
of IVisMord, Wislcy, IVisAsing^r, I^irborough, Wiskin 
(water-island) in the Fens, formerly an island ; Wistovf 
and -^jbeach, in the fens of Huntingdonshire, JVisheach, 
and the WASH, seem to be derived from the Welsh wys^ 
rather than from the Gaelic uisg-e. 

In Spain there are the ESCA and the -E^la, the latter 
of which we may compare with the two /rlas in Scot- 
land, the /fie in Somerset, and the Isle in Brittany, where 
also we find the /jac, the Oust, the Cou^^non, and the 
Cou^jan ; and in other districts of France are the ESQUE, 
the ASSE, the OSE, the Isoli, the Ishrt, the Otische, the 
Aisne, the Ausonnc, and the Ach^j^. 

There are several French rivers called the Afes or 
AfeSE. The /jara, or EsidL, has become the OISE, the 
AxonsL is now the Aisne, the /rcauna is the Fonne, the 
Liger£f is the Loire, and the (/[rantis insula is the island 
of Otiessant or £/ihant The name of the town of 
Orange, near Avignon, is a corruption of Ar^trion.* 

^ The Huntingdonshire peasant to this day calls the Ouse the Usey, thus 
preserving the ancient Gaelic form. Monkhouse, Etymologies^ p. 64. 

• The n is probably a relic of the Celtic innisy island, as in the case of 
Orkney. See page 171, supra» 

' Salverte, Essai sur les Noms^ vol. ii. p. ^89. 


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River-Names — Esk. 205 

The /rella is now the Fxrel, the Scaldi> is the Scheldt, 
the Vahalir is the Waal. In central Europe we have the 
Alb£r now the Elbe, the Tanaw now the Don, the l&oxys-' 
thenes now the Dan^jper or Dn^Vper, the'Tyr^ now the 
Damzxter or Dni^Jter, the Tibifcus now the Their, the 
/rter now the Danube, to which may, perhaps, be added 
the Hyphanif, the Hyphasij, the Phaser, the Tiberir, the 
Teri>, the /raurus, the /saphis, and the /roeus. 

Among German streams we find the ISE, the AXE, the 
/fen, the /far, the iE'wach, the -ffjchaz, the 5ave, the 
Ahse^ the -ff/xbach, the -ff/jenbach, the EistKbzx^ the 
£*Aach, the ^jelbach ; and a very large number of small 
streams bear the names of -ff/^Abach, -^jrAbach, EschA- 
bach, and jE'jrAelbronn or ^j^Aelbrunn. We find, also, the 
-Ejjebom, the -ffxterbach, the -^^jbach, and the ^tsch> 

The word Etsch is a German corruption of the ancient 
name Atesis or Ath^j^r, which the Italians have softened 
into the AAige. In Italy we find the 'RtAesis, the Is now 
the /f ja, the -^^is now the Fium«ino (Flumen iEsinum), 
the -^.rarus now the IszxOy the Natifo now the Natifone, 
the Gal^KHis now the Gakjo, the Ver^xis now LVxa, the 
Os?Lj which still retains its name unchanged, the Aus?iX 
now the Serchio, the ApriAfa now the Aus^, and the 
Padwja a branch of the Po.* The name of ISTRIA^ — ^half 
land, half water — is derived from the Celtic roots, is^ 
water^ and ter, terra ; and Tri^Jte, its chief town, exhibits 
a Celtic prefix tre^ a dwelling, which will presently be 

From the closely related Welsh word gwy or wy 

* See Donaldson, r^rw^wwar, pp.45— 48; Mone, Celtische Forschungm^ 
pp. 12, 13, 14, 18 ; Ferguson, River Names^ pp. 31 — ^33. 

* Arch. Williams, in Edinh, Trans. voL iii. p. 519 ; Essays^ p. 69. 

* Pott, Eiymol, ForscK voL il p. 233 ; Mone, CdU Forsch, p. 224. 


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206 . The Celts. 

(water), we may derive the names of the wye in Wales 
and in Derbyshire, and of the WEY in Hampshire, in 
Dorset, and in Surrey. The Llugwy (clear water), the 
Myviwy (small water), the Qx2xway (rough water), the 
Dowrd^jfte^;/ (noisy water), the YXwy (gliding water), the 
Qonway (chief water), the Soze^y, the Ed«jy, the Onwy, 
the Olway, the Vrynwy, are all in Wales ; the Meda^^;' 
is in Kent, and the Solwqy on the Scottish border. There 
is an /vel (Gmvel) in Somersetshire and in Bedfordshire. 
The Solent was anciently called Vr wytA, the channel, 
and the Isle of Wight was Ynysyr wy4h, the Isle of the 
Channel, from which the present name may possibly be 
derived.^ We find the Fl^Abach, W^j>pach, and many 
similar names in Germany,^ In France the Gy, the Gu\- 
save, and the Gui\ in the department of the Hautes 
Alpes, and the Guiers, in the department of the Ain, 
seem to contain the same root.^ 

IV. Rhe. The root RAe or RAin is connected with 
the Gaelic rea, rapid ; with the Welsh rAe, swift ; r/teJu, 
to run ; rAin, that which runs :* and also with the Greek 
p€(o, the Sanskrit ri, and the English words run and 

* Walters, inJPhilological Proceedings^ vol. L p. 65. See, however, p. 71, 

« Mone, Celtische Forsch. pp. 35, 36. 

* The Welsh names of many aquatic animals contain the root gvy^ water, 
e,g. kwyady a duck ; gwydd, a goose ; ^«/llemot, &c Morris, in GemtU- 
man's Magazitte for October, X7S9, p. 904. Gmt is the Proven9aI term for 
a duck. Courson, Peup. Bret, vol. i. p. 32. 

* Rhyn is a promontory, a point of land which runs out to sea. Pcnrhyn 
near Bangor, Rynd in Perth, Rhind in Clackmannan, Rindow Point near 
Wigton, the Rins of Galloway, Penryn in Cornwall, Rien in Clare, Rinmore 
in Devon, Argyle, and Aberdeen, and several Rins in Kerry, are all pro- 
jecting tongues of land. 

» So the raindeer is the running deer. Cf. Diefenbach, Celtica^ i. p. 56 ; 
Orig, Europ, p. 408 ; Pictet, Orig, Jndo-Eur. vol. i. p. 136 ; Zcuss, Gram- 


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River-Names — Rhe, 207 

Hence we have the RYE in Kildare, Yorkshire, and 
Ayrshire, the REA in Salop, Warwick, Herts, and 
Worcestershire, the REY in Wilts, the RAY in Oxford- 
shire and Lancashire, the RHEE in Cambridgeshire, the 
RHEA in Staffordshire, the WREY in Devon, the ROY in 
Inverness, the ROE in Derry, the RUE in Montgomery, 
the ERYN in Sussex, the Rod^n in Salop and Essex, and 
the Rihh\e in Lancashire. We also find this root in the 
names of the RHINE (Rhenus), the RHIN, the REGEN, the 
REGA and the if/^danau, in Germany, the Reinsich and 
the Reuss in Switzerland, the Reggc in Holland, the 
RAone in France, the RigdL in Spain, the RHA or Volga 
in Russia, the ^r/danus, now the Po, and the RAenus, 
now the Reno, in Italy. 

V. Don. Whether the root Don, or Dan, is connected 
with the Celtic a/on, or whether it is an unrelated Celtic 
or Scythian gloss, is a point which has not been decided. 
It appears, however, that in the language of the Ossetes 
— ^a tribe in the Caucasus, which preserves a very primi- 
tive form of the Aryan speech — the word don means 
water or river.^ If this be the true meaning of the word 
it enables us to assign an esoteric explanation to certain 
primaeval myths.^ Thus Hesiod informs us that DamMS, 

matica Cdtka, voL i. p. 13 ; Astnic, Languedoc, p. 448 ; Betham, Gad^ 
p. 212. 

^ Amdt, Europ, Spr. pp. 117, 174, 241 ; Cf. Hartshome, Salopia 
AnHqwiy p. 261 ; Wheeler, Gtography of Herodotus y p. 145. There is a 
Gadhelic word taiUy water. Armstrong says don is an obsolete Gaelic word 
for water, and that it is still retained in the Armorican. Compare the 
Sclavonic tonu^ a river-deep. Schafarik, Slaunsche Altertk. vol. i. p. 498. 
Ultimately, we may probably refer don to the conjectural Sanskrit word 
udaHy water — which contains the root und^ to wet. Hence the Latin unda. 
The Sanskrit udra^ water, comes from the same root undy and is probably 
the source of the Celtic dwr, Pictet, Orig. Indo-Eun vol. i. p. 141. 

• Karl V. Miiller, Mythologies pp. 185, 312 ; Pott, Mytho-Etymologica^ in 


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208 The Celts. 

the grandson of Poseidon and Libya (XijSa, moisture), 
relieved Argos from drought : "ApYo? dwBpov iov Aavim 
irobfiaev Ivv^pov, Again, we are told that the fifty 
Danaides, having slain their husbands, the fifty sons of 
uEgyptus, on the wedding night, were condemned to 
carry water in broken urns to fill a bottomless vessel. 
This myth receives a beautiful interpretation as an 
esoteric exposition of a natural phenomenon, if we inter- 
pret the ancient gloss dan^ as meaning water. We then 
see that the i?^«aides, daughters of Dan, are the waters 
of the inundation, which overwhelm the fifty provinces 
of Egypt in their fatal* embrace, and for a penalty have 
to bear water up the mountain sides in their broken 
urns of cloud, condemned ceaselessly to endeavour to 
fill the valley, a bottomless gulf through which the river 
carries forth the outpourings of the clouds into the sea. 

But whatever may be the signification of this root, we 
find it in a large number of the most ancient and im- 
portant river-names. 

On the Continent we have the Danwht} the Dandstns^ 
the Z?tf«aster, or i?«iester, the -Oa«apris, Danaisper, or 
Dnieper, the DON, anciently the TamiSf and the Donetz^ 
a tributary of the Don, in Russia, the Rha^iiau, in 
Prussia, the Rhodanus or Rho«e, the Adonis, the Kredon 
in the Caucasus, the Tidone and the Tan'^xo, affluents of 
the Eri^&«us or Po, the Durdan in Normandy, the Don 
in Brittany, and the Mdidon, the Yerdon, the Ijoudon, the 
Odon, and the Rosco^» in other parts of France. 

Kuhn's Zeitsekrift fur Verglach, Sprachforsch. vol. vii. pp. 109— ill ; 
Gladstone, Homer, p. 366; Kelly, Curiosities, pp. 142, 212; Creozer, 
Symbolik, vol iiL p. 480 ; Preller, Griechische Mythologie, pp. 33—38, 

1 Zeuss, Gram, CdU voL ii. p. 994, thinks the root is the Erse dana^ 
strong. He is followed by Foratemann, Alt-deut, Namenbuck, vol. u. 
p. 409 ; De Belloguet, Eth. p. 104; and Gliick, Kdt Namen, p. 93. 


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River-Names — Don, 209 

In the British Isles this wcM'd is found in the names 
of the DON in Yorkshire, Aberdeen, and Antrim, the 
'B2iVidon in Londonderry, the DEAN in Nottinghamshire 
and Forfar, the DANE in Cheshire, the DUN in Lincoln- 
shire and Ayrshire, the TONE in Somerset, and probably 
in the ^Eden in Yorkshire, Cumberland, Kent, Fife, and 
Roxburgh, the DAVON in Cheshire and Glamorgan, the 
DEVON in Leicestershire, Perth, Fife, and Clackmannan, 
and possibly the TYNE in Northumberland and Had- 
dington, the TEIGN in Devon, the TIAN in the Island of 
Jura, the TEANE in Stafford, the TEYN in Derbyshire, 
and the tvnet in Banff.^ 

It thus appears that the names of almost all the larger 
rivers of Europe, as well as those of a very great number 
of the smaller streams, contain one or other of the five 
chief Celtic words for water or river, viz. — 

1. ATon, or son. 

2. Dwr, or tcr. 

3. Uisge, or wysk, wye, is, es, oise, usk, esk, ex, ax. 

4. Rhe, or rhin. 

5. Don, ^dan. 

It will, doubtless, have been remarked that several 
rivers figure more than once in the foregoing lists ; we 
find, in short, that two or even three of these nearly 

1 Some of these names may be from the Celtic //« «, running water, or, 
perhaps, from Ta^aon^ the still river— see page 216, infra. The names 
of the Davon and the Tone show how dwr-avon^ by crasis, might possibly 
become D'avon, d-aon^ or don. In many river-names we find a d or & t 
prefixed, which has been thought to be due to the Celtic preposition dt\ 
dOf or du, which means at. The Tees, the Taff, the Tavon, are perhaps 
instances of this usage, which we see exemplified in the indisputable cases 
of Zermat, Andermat, Amsteg, Stanko {is rdtf KS), Utrecht (ad trajectum), 
Armorica, Aries, &c See pp. 86, 227 ; and Whitaker, J/isi, Manchester^ 
ToL i. p. 220 ; Hiit Whalley^ p. 9 ; Zeuss, Cram, Celt, vol. ii. pp. 566, 595, 
597, 626; Baxter, Glossarium, p. 8 ; Char&ock, Local Etym, p. 269, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


The Celts. 

synonymous roots enter into the composition of their 

Thus it seems probable that the name of the 

Dan-as-ter, or 

) contains roots 
} (5) (3) (2) 



. . (4) (5) (I) 

Is-ter . . 

. . (3) (2) 


. . (4) (5) (3?) 


. (5) (0(3?) 

Dur-dan . 

. (2) (5) 


. (2) (I) (3 

Rhe-n-us . . 

. (4)(0(3») 

I8c-aun>a . 

. (3) (0 


. (5) (3) 

Ter-ab-ia . . 

. (2) (I) 


Tan-ais . 







Is-en . 




(1) (3) 
(5) (3) 
(3) (2) 

(2) (3) 

(3) (I) 
(3) (I) 
(3) (i) 
(2) (I) 
(I) (5) 

Some of these cases may be open to criticism, but the 
instances <ire too numerous to be altogether fortuitous. 
The formation of these names appears to be in accord- 
ance with a law,^ which, if it can be established, will 
enable us to throw light on the process of slow accretion 
by which many of the most ancient river-names have 
been formed. 

The theory supposes that, when the same territory has 
been subject to the successive occupancy of nations 
speaking different languages, or different dialects of the 
same language, the earliest settlers called the river, on 
whose banks they dwelt, by a word signifying in their 
own language " The Water," or ",The River." ' As lan- 
guage changed through conquest, or in the lapse of ages, 
this word was taken for a proper name, and another 

* The existence of this law, hybrida composition as it was termed by 
Baxter, who discovered it, has been strenuously denied. See, however, 
Donaldson, Varroniantts, pp. 46, 47; New Cratylus, p. 14; Rawlinson, 
Herodotus^ \o\. iii. p. 188; Mone, Celt Forsch, p. 5; Davies, n Phil. 
Trans, for 1857, p. 91 ; Poste, Brit, Researches^ p. 144. 


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Reduplication of Synonyms. 2 1 1 

word for "River" or "Water'* was superadded. This 
process of superimposition may have been repeated 
again and again by successive tribes of immigrants, and 
thus ultimately may have been formed the strange 
aggregations of synonymous syllables which we find in 
so many river-names. The operation of this law we may 
detect with certainty in the case of names unaffected, as 
are most of the names which have been cited, by the 
phonetic changes of many centuries. It will be well, 
therefore, to illustrate this process in the case of some 
familiar and more modern names, where it must, beyond 
possibility of doubt, have taken place. 

In the case of the DUR-BECK in Nottinghamshire, and 
the DUR-BACH in Germany, the first syllable is the Celtic 
dwr, water. The Teutonic colonists, who in either case 
dispossessed the Celts, inquired the name of the stream, 
and being told it was DWR, the water, they naturally took 
this to be 2l proper name instead of a common name, and 
suffixed the German word beck or bach, a stream. In 
the names of the ESK-WATER and the DOUR- water in 
Yorkshire, we have a manifest English addition to the 
Celtic roots esk and dwr. 

The IS-BOURNE, the EASE-BURN, the ash-bourne, 
the WASH-BURN, and the OUSE-BURN, present the 
Anglian burne, added to various common modifications 
of the Celtic uisge. 

In the name of WAN-S-BECK-WATER we first find 
ivany which is a slightly corrupted form of the Welsh 
afon. The s is, perhaps, a vestige of the Gadhelic 
uisge. As in the case of the Durbeck, the Teutonic heck 
-was added by the Anglian colonists, and the English 
■word water was suffixed when the meaning of Wans- 
beck had become obscure, and Wansbeckwater, or 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

:^I2 The Celts. 

Jliverwaterriverwater, is the curious agglomeration which 
• has resulted.! 

The mountain at the head of the Yarrow is called 
MOUNTBENJERLAW. The original Celtic name was Ben 
Yair^ or " Yarrow Head." The Angles added their own 
word Idaw, a hill ; and the ftumnt is an Anglo-Norman 
addition of still later date.* 

In the name of BRINDON HILL, in Somersetshire, we 
have first the Cymric bryn^ a hill. To this was added 
dun^ a Saxonised Celtic word, nearly synonymous with 
bryn ; and the English word hill was added when neither 
bryn nor dun were any longer significant words. 

Pen-dle-HILL, in Lancashire, is similarly com- 
poimded of three synonymous words — ^the Cymric /w, 
the Norse Jwll^ and the English hill? In PEN-TLOW 
HILL, in Essex, we have the Celtic/^, the Anglo-Saxon 
hlaw, and the English hilL SHAR-PEN-HOE-KNOLL, \xi 
Bedfordshire, contains four nearly synonymous elements. 
The names of PiN-HOW in Lancashire, PEN-HILL in 
Somersetshire and Dumfriesshire, PEN-D-HILL in Surrey, 
and PEN-LAW in Dumfriesshire, are analogous com- 

MON-GIBELLO, the local name of Etna, is compounded 
of the Arabic gebel^ a mountain, to which the Italian 
monte has been prefixed. 

Trajan's bridge, over the Tagus, is called the LA 
PUENTE DE ALCANTARA. Here we have the same pro- 
cess. At Cantara means "The Bridge" in Arabic, and 
La Puente means precisely the same thing in Spanish. 

^ Donaldson, Varronianus ; New CratyiuSy p. 14. 
• Garnett, Essctys p. 70. 

« Davies, in Pkiloiog, Trans, p. 218 ; Whitaker, ffitt. of WhalUy^ 
pp. 7, 8. 


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RedupliccUwfi of Synonyms. t\% 

In the case of the city of NAG-POOR we have nagara, , 
a city, ^xld purOy a city. 

The VAL DE NANT, in Neufchdtel, presents us with, 
the Celtic nant and the French val, both identical 
in meaning. HERT-FORD gives us the Celtic rkyd, a. 
synonym of the Saxon ford} In HOLM-IN ISLAND 
there are three synonyms. We find, first, the Norse 
kohn; secondly, the Celtic innis ;* and, lastly, the 
English island, INCH island is an analogous name. 
In the case of the Isle of Shepp^, Canv^ Island, Osey 
Island, and Rams^ Island, we have the Anglo-Saxon i 
ea^ which is identical in meaning with the English 

In like manner, we might analyse the names of the 
Hill of Howth, the Tuskar Rock, Smerwick Harbour, 
Sandwick Bay, Cape Griznez, Start Point, the Aland- 
Islands, Hampton, Hamptonwick, Bourn Brook in 
Surrey, the Bach Brook in Cheshire, the Oehbach^ in 
Hesse, Knock-knows, Dal-field, KinnAird Heady the 
King-horn River, Hoe Hill in Lincoln, Mal-don (Celtic 
maol or moely a round hill) Maserfield (Welsh maesy a 
field), Romn-ey Marsh (Gaelic ruimney a marsh), Alt 
Hill (Welsh allt, a cliff),* and many others. 

In short, it would be easy to multiply, almost without 
end, unexceptional instances of this process of aggrega- 
tions of synonyms ; but the cases cited may probably 
suffice to make it highly probable that the same process 
has prevailed among the Celtic and Scythian tribes of 
central Europe, and that this law of hybrid composition, 
as it is called, may, without extravagance, be adduced in 

I Baxter, Ghssariumy p. 69. 

« Old High German, aha^ water. See Vilmar, Ortsnametty p. 258, 

* Davies, in Philohg. Trans, for 1857, p. 91. 


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214 T^he Celts. 

explanation of such names as the Rha-dan-au, or the 
Dn-ies-ter, and with the highest probability in cases like 
the Ax-ona or the Dur-dan. 

It now remains briefly to consider the second or 
adjectival class of river-roots. 

Two have been already mentioned. From the Welsh 
garWyXOM.^} we obtain the names of the GARA in Sligo 
and Hereford, the GARRY in Perth and Inverness, the 
YARE in Normandy, in Norfolk, in the Isle of Wight, 
and in Devon, the GARWAY in Carmarthen, the GAR- 
NERE in Clare, the GARNAR in Hereford, the YARRO 
in Lancashire, the YARROW and the YAIR in Selkirk,* 
the GARVE and the Ross, the GARONNE, 
the GERS, and the GIRON in France, and the GUER in 

From the Gaelic ally white, we obtain al-aouy *' white 
afon." The Romans have Latinized this word into 
Alauna.^ In Lancashire the Alauna of the Romans is 
now the LUNE.* There is another LUNE in Yorkshire. 
We find a River ALLEN in Leitrim, another in Denbigh, 
another in Northumberland, and a fourth in Dorset. 
There is an ALLAN in Perthshire, and two in Roxburgh- 
shire. The ALAN in Cornwall, the ALLWEN in Merioneth, 
the ELWIN in Lanark, the ELLEN in Cumberland, the 
ILEN in Cork, and the ALN or AULN, which we find in 
Northumberland, Cumberland, Hampshire, Warwick, 

^ Gaelic and Irish, garbh, 

* Compare the name of the monastery of Jarrow, where Beda lived. 

' See Diefenbach, Celtica^ ii. part i. p. 310. 

^ Z^Mcaster, anciently Ad Alaunam, is the ccLstra on the Lvine. The 
name of ^i/cestcr, which stands on the Aln, the Warwickshire Alauna, is 
written Ellencaster by Matthew Paris. See Baxter, Chssariumy p. xo. 


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River-Names^^Alny Douglas^ Leven, 215 

Roxbui^h, and Berwickshire, are all modifications of the 
same name, as well as the AULNE and the ELL^E in 
Brittany. The name of the ELBE is probably connected 
with the same root- 
To the Gaelic and Erse batiy white, we may refer the 
BEN in Mayo, the BANK in Wexford, the BANE in Lin- 
coln, the BAIN in Hertford, the AVEN-BANNA in Wexford, 
the Banon (Ban Afon) in Pembroke, the bana in 
Down, the Bandon in Cork and Londonderry, the 
Banney in Yorkshire, the Banaic in Aberdeen, the Ban- 
oc-burn in Stirling, the BAUNE in Hesse, and the Banitz 
in Bohemia. 

The word d/tu, black, appears in five rivers in Wales, 
three in Scotland, and one in Dorset, which are called 
DuXzs, There are also two in Scotland and one in 
Lancashire called the Dou^^s^ and we have the DouI^ls 
in Radnor, and the DowIqs in Shropshire. 

From llevn, smooth, or from /inn, a deep still pool, we 
obtain the names of Loch LEVEN and three rivers called 
LEVEN in Scotland, beside others of the same name in 
Gloucestershire, Yorkshire, Cornwall, Cumberland, and 
Lancashire. To one of these words we may also refer 
the names of Loch LYON in Perth, the River LYON in 
Inverness, the LOIN in Banff, the LEANE in Kerry, the 
LINE in Cumberland, Northumberland, Nottingham, 
Peebles, and Fife, the lane in Galloway, the LAIN in 
Cornwall, and perhaps one or more of the four LUNES 
which are found in Yorkshire, Durham, and Lancashire.^ 
Deep pools, or lynns, have given names to LINCOLN, 

^ The Diggles, also in Lancashire, is a corruption of the same name. 
"Whitaker, Hisf. IVhalley, p. 9. 

* We know that the Lune is, in one case, a contracted form of Alauna, 
the white river. See p. 214, supra. 


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2l6 The Celts. 


The word tam, spreading, quiet, still, which seems to 
be related to the Welsh taw and the Gaelic tavy appears 
in the names of the Tamt,s\s or THAMES, the TAME in 
Cornwall, Cheshire, Lancashire, Stafford, and Bucks, the 
TAMAR in Devon, the TEMA in Selkirk, the TEME in 
Worcester, and perhaps^ in those of the TAW in Devon 
and Glamorgan, the TA Loch in Wexford, the TAY 
(anciently the Tavus) in Perth and Waterford, the TAVY 
in Devon, and the TAVE in Wales. Pliny tells us, 
Scythae vocant Maeotim Temarundam, — the "Broad 

The widely-diffused root ar causes much perplexity. 
The ARAR, as Caesar says, flows "incredibili lenitate;" 
while, as Coleridge tells us, the ARVE and the ARVEIRON 
'' rave ceaselessly." We find, however, on the one hand, 
a Welsh word arafy gentle, and an obsolete Gaelic word 
drr, slow, and on the other we have a Celtic word arw^ 
violent, and a Sanskrit root arby to ravage or destroy. 
From one or other of these roots, according to the 
character of the river, we may derive the names of the 
ARW in Monmouth, the ARE and the AIRE in Yorkshire, 
the AYR in Cardigan and Ayrshire, the ARRE in Corn- 
wall, the ARRO in Warwick, the ARROW in Hereford and 
Sligo, the ^ray in Argyle, the Ara-^m and the Ara-- 
gadeen in Cork, the ERVE, the ARVE, the OURCQ, the 

1 Zeuss derives the name of the Lacus Lemanus from this root Gratn^ 
Celt. voL i. p. lOo; De Belloguet, Ethnoghtie^ vol. i. p. 249. 

« Sec p. 209, suprc^ 

" Donaldson, Vamm. p. 51. We find a Sanskrit word, tdmarot water. 
The ultimate root seems to be tam^ languescere. Pictet, Orig. Indo-Eurxjp, 
p. 142. 


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River-Names — Tame^ Atre^ Cam, Clyde, 217 

arc; the Arnege, and the ^f veiron, in France, the Argz, 
and three rivers called ArwdL in Spain, in Italy the Amo 
and i?ra, in Switzerland the AAR and the -^Hbach, in 
Germany the OHRE, AHR, Isar, Auraich, Orrty Er\ Erldi, 
A A, Orldiy Argexiy and several mountain streams called 
the ARE ; besides the well-known ancient names of the 
O^rus, the -Praxes, the AR-AR-AR, the Nap^ns, the -4ras, 
and the Jax^rtes.^ 

The word cam? crooked, we find in the CAM in 
Gloucester and Cambridgeshire, the CAMIL in Cornwall, 
the CAMLAD in Shropshire, the CAMBECK in Cumber- 
land, the CAMLIN in Longford, and the camon in Tyrone. 
MORCAMBE BAY is the crooked-sea bay, and CAMDEN is 
the crooked vale. We have also the rivers KAMP and 
CHAM in Germany, and the KAM in Switzerland. 

To the Gaelic cliih, strong, we may refer the CLYDE 
and the CLUDAN in Scotland, the CLWYD, the CLOYD, 
and the CLYDACH, in Wales, the CLYDE and several 
other streams in Ireland, and, perhaps, the CLITUMNUS 
in Italy.* 

There are many other clusters of river-names which 
invite investigation, but of which a mere enumeration 

* See Latham, Germania^ ?• 13 > Rawlinson, Herodotus^ vol. iii. p. 202 ; 
Mone, Cdt. Forsch. p. 204; Prichard, Researches, vol. iii. p. 132 ; Gliick, 
Kleit, Nanunj p. 58 ; Radlof^ Neue Untersuckungen, p. 2S5 ; De Belloguet, 
Ethnoginiey vol. i. p. Il6 ; Forstemann, Ortsnametiy p. 32. 

s Diefenbach, CelHca, i p. i la This word was adopted into English^ 
though it is now obsolete. So Sicinius Velutus says of the crooked reasoning 
of Menenius Agrippa, "This is clean kam;" to which Brutus replies, 
*' Merely awry." Coriolanusy Act iii. scene I The root appears in the 
phrase, arms in kembo, or a-kimba To cam, in the Manchester dialect, is 
to cross or contradict a peison, or to bend anything awry. Kennett, 
Parochial Antiquities, Glossary, s. v. Camera ; Whitaker, Hist, Manchester, 
▼oL il p. 274; Davies, iji Philolog, Proc, voL vL p. 129 ; Halliwell, Archaic 
Glossary, s. v. ; Gliick, Kdt, Namen, p. 34. 

• Williams, Essays, p. 71, prefers the Welsh clyd, warm. 

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2li8 The Celts. 

must suffice.^ Such are the groups of names of which 
the NEATH, the SOAR, the may, the DEE, the TEES, the 
CHER, the KEN, the FROME, the COLNE, the IRKE, the 
LID, thCL LEA, the MEUSE, the GLEN, and the SWALE, 
may be taken as types. It is indeed a curious fact, that 
a unique river-name is hardly to be found. Any given 
name may immediately be associated with some dozen 
or half-dozen names nearly identical in form and 
meaning, collected from all parts of Europe. This 
might suffice to show the great value of these river- 
names in ethnological investigations. Reaching back to 
a period anterior to all history, they enable us to prove 
the wide diffusion of the Celtic race, and to trace that 
race in its progress across Europe. 

For antiquity and immutability, the names of mountains 
and hills come next in value to the names of rivers.* 
The names of these conspicuous landmarks have been 
transmitted from race to race very much in the same 
way, and from the same causes, as the names of rivers. 

The modern Welsh names for the head and the back 
are pen and cefn. We find these words in a large num- 
ber of mountain-names. The Welsh cefn? (pronounced 

* On river-roots see Fei^son, River Names of Europe ; Baxter, Glos- 
sarium; Chalmers, CaledoniOj vol. i. ; Forstemann, Altdeutsches Namenbuck, 
vol. ii, ; Deutschen Ortsnamen^ pp. 31—37; Whitaker, History of Man- 
chester^ vol. i. p. 220 ; History of Whalley^ PP- 8, 9 ;' Betham, Gad^ pp. 205 — 
215; Vilmar, Ortsnamen^ p. 254; Church of England Quarterly, No. 73, 
p. 153 ; Schott, Deutsch. Col, pp. 219, 225 ; Pictet, Orig, Indo-Eur, part i. 
pp. 119, 134—145; and the works of Pott, Amdt, Gliick, Diefenba<^ De 
Belloguet, Williams, Davies, Latham, Rawlinson, Donaldson, &c. 

' **Helvellyn and Skiddaw rise as sepulchral monuments of a race that 
has passed away." — Palgrave, English Commonwealth^ vol. L p. 451. 

■ See Diefenbach, Cdtica^ i. p. 104 ; Gliick, Kelt, Namen^ p. 51 ; 
Boudard, Numat, Ibir, p. 121 ; Morris, in Gentleman* s Mag, for 1789, 
p. 905. 


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Names of Mountains. 2 icf 

keven) a back, or ridge, is very common in local names 
in Wales, as in the case of CEFN COED or CEFN BRYN. 
In England it is found in the CHEVIN, a ridge in Wharf- 
dale ; in CHEVIN Hill near Derby ; in KEYNTON, a name 
which occurs in Shropshire, Dorset, and Wilts; in 
CHEVENING, on the great ridge of North Kent ; in 
CHEVINGTON in Suffolk and Northumberland ; also in 
CHEVY Chase, and the cheviot Hills ; in the Gehenna 
Mens, now LES CEVENNES, in France; and in Cape 
CHIEN, in Brittany. 

The Welsh /^,^ a head, and by metonymy, the usual 
name for a mountain, is widely diffused throughout 
Europe. The south-easterly extension of the Cymric 
race is witnessed by the names of the PENN-INE chain of 
the Alps, the A-PENN-INES, a place called PENNE, 
anciently Pinna, in the high Apennines, and Mount 
PINDUS, in Greece. The ancient name of PENILUCUS, 
near Villeneuve, is evidently a Latinized form of Pen-y- 
llwchy the head of the lake.* We find PENHERF and 
the headland of PENMARCH in Brittany, and there is 
a hill near Marseilles which is called LA PENNE. In our 

1 From the root/««, originally a head or point, come probably, pinnacle, 
penny (?), pin, spine, and the name of the pine-tree. It is curious that the 
Cymric pyr^ a fir, bears the same relation to the name of the Terences 
HaaXpina does to those of the Apennines and Pennine Alps. Compare the 
Pyem mountains in Upper Austria, and the Femer in Tyrol. In the case 
of many of the Pjrrenean giants the topmost pyramid of each is called its 
**penne." Pena is the name for a rock in Spanish, and in \\sX\2Sipenna 
is a mountain summit. Diez, Etym, Worterb. p. 258. Cf. Quarterly 
Jieuitw^ vol. cxvi. p. 12. On the root/^, see Diefenbach, Cdtica^ i. p. 170; 
Orig, Eur, p. 397 ; Keferstein, Kelt, Alt. vol. ii p. 186 ; Adelung, MUhri' 
eiatcs, vol. iL p. 67 ; Forbes, Tour of Mont Blanc, p. 210 ; Zeuss, Gram* 
Cdi. vol. i p. 77 ; Wedgwood, in PkUolog, Proceeds vol. iv. p. 259 ; Davies, 
sbid, vol. vi. p. 129 ; De Belloguet, EthnogMiey vol. i. p. 73. 

* Hobertson, Early Kings^ vol. iL p. 229. 


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220 The Celts. 

own island, hills bearing this name are very numerous. 
We have PENARD, penhill, and pen in Somerset, 
Upper and Lower PENN in Staffordshire, and PANK 
Castle near Bridgenorth. The highest hill in Bucking- 
hamshire is called PEN. One of the most conspicuous 
summits in Yorkshire is called PENNIGANT. INKPEN 
stands on a high hill in Berkshire. We have PENDLETON 
and PENKETH m Lancashire, PENSHURST in Sussex ; in 
Cumberland we find PENRITH, the head of the ford ; and 
in Herefordshire, PENCOID, the head of the wood. In 
Cornwall and Wales the root pen is of perpetual occur- 
rence, as in the cases of penrhyn and PENDENNIS {Pen. 
Dinas) in Cornwall, and penmaenmawr, Pembroke,* 
and penrhos, in Wales. 

In Argyleshire and the northern parts of Scotland the 
Cymric pen is ordinarily replaced by ben or cenn^ the 
Gaelic forms of the same word. 

This distinctive usage oi pen and befi in local names 
enables us to detect the ancient line of demarcation 
between the Cymric and Gadhelic branches of the Celtic 
race. We find the Cymric form of the word in the 
Gram-//tf«-s, the pentland Hills, the pennagaul Hills 
and PENPONT in Dumfries, the PEN of Eskdalemuir, 
PEN CRAIG in Haddington, PENWALLY in Ayrshire, and 
PENDRICH in Perth. On the other hand the Gaelic ben^ 
which is conspicuously absent from England,^ Wales, 
and south-eastern Scotland, is used to desigjnate almost 
all the higher summits of the north and west, as, for 
instance, BENNEVIS, BENLEDI, benmore, benwyvis, 
benlomond, bencruachan, and many more, too 
numerous to specify. 

* Pen-bro, Jthc head of the land 

* Ben Rhydding, in Yorkshire, is a name of veiy recent concoction. 


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Hill-Names— pen^ dun. 221 

The Gadhelic cenn, a head^ is another form of the 
same word. It is found in KENMORE,i CANTIRE, KIN- 
NAIRD, and KINROSS, in Scotland, KINSALE and KEN- 
MARE in Ireland, in the English county of KENT, KENNE 
in Somerset, KENNEDON in Devonshire, KENTON in 
Middlesex, KENCOT in Oxforddiire, and KENCOMB in 

The position of ancient Celtic strongholds is frequently 
indicated by the root dun, a hill fortress, a word which is 
closely related to the modern Welsh word dinas} The 
features of such a natural stronghold are well exhibited 
at SION in Switzerland, where a bold isolated crag rises 
in the midst of an alluvial plain. Like so many other 
positions of the kind, this place bears a Celtic name. 
The German form SITTEN is nearer than the French 
SION to the ancient name Sedunnm, which is the Latin* 
ized form of the original Celtic appellation. In a 
neighbouring canton the ancient "Ehr^unwva has become 
YYERDUN, a place which, as well as THUN (pronounced 
Toon), must have been among the fortress-cities of the 
Celts of Switzerland. In Germany, Campo^&^um is now 

1 Kemnore, the ''great sammit,*' from the Gaelic mor, or the Welsh 
m4rwr, great. This name is found also in Switzerland. There is a mountain 
called the kamor in Appenzell, and another called the kammerstock 
between Uri and Glaros. Mont CENis was anciently Mons Cinisius. 
GENEVA is probably cenn a/on, the head of the river. See Mone, Celtisckc 
ForscAung€Hy p. 27. 

* Gliick, KelL Namen^ p. 139 ; Diefenbacfa, CdtUa, i p. 157 ; Orig. 
Eur, pp. 325 — 328 ; Adelung, Mithridates, vol. ii, p. 57 ; Holtzmann, Kelten 
und Gertnanen^ p. ic» j Menage, Origines, pp. 264-— 267 ; Forstemann, Alt- 
dmtsches Nanunhuch^ vol. iL p. 442 ; Cambro-Briton^ voL iii. p. 43. From 
the Celtic the root has penetrated into Italian and Spanish as duna, into 
English as down, and into French as dune. The Dhunsoil^e Himalayas, 
as Kjarda Dhun, Dehra Dhun, &c seem to be related words. Diez, Etym, 
Worterh. p. 129 ; Lassen, Indische Alterth, voL L pp. xlv. 4S. 


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222 Tlie Celts. 

KEMP-TEN, and Tarorf«»um, in the modern form of 
DOR-N-STADT, preserves only a single letter of the Celtic 
dim. The same is the case with Q^xxodunyim (carraigh- 
dun, the rock fort), now KHAR-N-BURG on the Danube ; 
while Idunwvci^ on the same river, is now I-DIN-O. THUN- 
DORF and DUN-ESTADT also witness the eastern exten- 
sion of the Celtic people.^ In Italy we find nine ancient 
names into which this Celtic root enters, as Vim/wium, 
AtifidLy and Re//«a.^ But in France, more especially, 
these Celtic hill-forts abounded. Augustorfa«um is now 
AU-TUN, and jyiWodunum is LOU-DUN near Poictiers. 
Lugrf««um, on the Rhone, is now LYONS ; Tuugdunxim 
or Lugorf/;/um, in Holland, is now leyden ; and Lugi- 
dunwm, in Silesia, is now GLOGAU. The rock of LaOn, 
the stronghold of the later Merovingian kings, is a 
contraction of TuBMdunum,^ Novio</««um, the " new fort," 
is a common name : one is now NOYON, another nevers, 
another NYON, another JUBLEINS. Melorf««um {fneall- 
dun^ the hill fort), now MELUN, Verorf««um, now VER- 
DUN, and Uxellorfif^«um in Guienne, were also Celtic 

In England there seem to have been fewer Celtic 
fortresses than in France. Lonrf««um or Lon^irV^ium, 
the fortified hill on which St. Paul's Cathedral now 
staads, is now LON-DON. LEX-DON, near Colchester, 

^ See Mone. Cdhsche Farschungen^ p. 68. The ancient name of Belgrade 
was Segodunum, Sagha-dun^ equivalent to Hapsburg, or Hawks*-hill, 
Leo, Vorlesungetty vol. i. p. 195. 

* Williams, Edinburgh Proceedings, voL xiii. p. 532 ; Essays, p, 8ou 
Coxtona is evidently Caer-dun. 

* Palgrave, England and Normandy, vol. ii. p. 7 ; Kennedy, in PhOolog, 
Trans, for 1 855, p. 170 ; Salverte, Essai sur Us Noms, vol. ii. pp. 265, 266. 
See p. 227, infra, 

* Gliick, Kdt. Nam, p. 139. 


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Celtic Strongholds. 223 

seems to have been Legionis dunum ;^ and Camulo- 
dunum is probably MAL-DON, in Essex.^ Sovhiodunum, 
now Old SARUM ; Branno^/««um, now Brancaster ; Mori- 
dunum, now CARMAR-THEN ; Kigiodunum, perhaps 
Ribblechester ; Moridunum^ probably Seaton ; and Tao- 
dunum, now DUN-DEE, were all British forts which were 
occupied by the Romans. The same root dun is found 
also in DUNSTABLE, DUNMOW, and DUNDRY Hill in 
Somerset In Scotland we have dumblane, Dumfries, 
DUNKELD, the "fort of the Celts," and Dumbarton, the 
"fort of the Britons." In Ireland we find DUNDRUM, 
LAVIN, and scores of other names, which exhibit this 
word. It was adopted by the Saxons from the Celts* 
and, in accordance with the genius of their language, it 
is used as a suffix instead of as a prefix, as is usually 
the case in genuine Celtic names. We have instances 
in the names of HUNTINGDON, FARRINGDON, and 

The Celtic languages can place the substantive first 
and the adjective last, while in the Teutonic idiom this 
is unallowable. The same is the case with substantives 
which have the force of adjectives. Thus the Celtic 
Strathclyde and Abertay corresponds to the Teutonic 
forms Clydesdale and Taymouth. This usage often 
enables us to discriminate between Celtic and Saxon 
roots which are nearly identical in sound. Thus, Balbeg 
and Strathbeg must be from the Celtic deg; little; but 
Bigholm and Bighouse are from the Teutonic 6i£, great, 
Dairy, Dalgain, Dalkeith, Daleaglis, Dolberry in Somer- 
set, and Toulouse must be from the Celtic dol, a plain ; 

* Baxter, G/ossarium, p. 174. 

' Horsley, Brit, Rom. p. 31 ; Cough's Camden, vol. ii. pp. 122, 135. 


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224 The Celts. 

while Rydal, Kendal, Mardale, and Oundle, are from the 
Teutonic daky a valley.^ 

The Welsh word brytiy a brow* or ridge, is found in 
BRANDON, in Suffolk, which is the Anglicized form of 
Dinas Bran, a common local name in Wales. A ridge 
in Essex is called BRANDON. BREANDOWN is the name 
of a high ridge near Weston-super-Mare. BRENDON 
Hill forms part of the great ridge of Exmoor. BIRN- 
WOOD Forest, in Buckinghamshire, occupies the summit 
of a ridge which is elevated some 300 feet above the 
adjacent country. BRAINTREE in Essex, and BRINTON 
and BRANCASTER in Norfolk (anciently Brannodunum), 
contain the same root, which is found in numerous 
Swiss and German names, such as brannberg, BRAN- 

Penrhos, a name which occurs in Wales and Corn- 
wall, contains a root — rkos, a moor* — ^which is liable to 
be confused with the Gaelic ros^ which signifies a promi- 
nent rock or headland. ROSS in Hereford and in North- 
umberland, ROSNEATH by Loch Long, and ROSDUY on 
Loch Lomond, are all on projecting points of land. 
Every Rigi tourist will remember the projecting preci- 
pice of the ROSSBERG, in Canton Schwytz, whose partial 
fall overwhelmed the village of Goldau. There are six 

1 See Zeuss, Grammatica Cdtica, vol. ii. pp. 824, 825, 862 ; Chalmen^ 
CaUdoniay vol. L p. 492 ; Robertson, Early Kings^ voL ii. p. 244. ' 

• Cf. the Sanskrit bhrd^ eyebrow. The English word brow^ the Scotch 
brae^ and the old German brdwa, all seem to be connected with this root. 
See Diefenbach, Cdiica, I p. 178 ; Vtrgl, Wifrterb, vol. i. pp. 316— 518^ 

» Mone, Cdtische Forschungen^ pp. 15, 16. 

^ The rusk is the characteristic moorland plant The Latin rus is a 
cognate word, and indicates the undrained moorland condition of the 


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Names of Rocks, 225 

other mountains of the same name in Germany."^ To the 
same source we may probably refer the names ^ of Monte 
land, and ROSTRENAN in Brittany. In our own islands 
we find this root in the names of WROXETER, ROSLIN, 

Craig, a rock, so common in Welsh names, is found in: 
CRICK in Derbyshire and Northampton, and CRICKLADK: 
in Wilts. In Ireland this word takes the form carraig- 
as in the case of CARRICKFERGUS. The root is probably 
to be found in the name of the three ranges called 
respectively the GRAIAN/ the CARNIC, and the KARA- 
VANKEN Alps. The prefix Kar is very common near. 
.Botzen.* In Savoy it takes the form crau. This form 
also appears in the name of a rocky district between: 
Aries and Marseilles, which is called LA CRAU.* 

Toty a projecting rock, is found in the names of Mount 
TAURUS, TORBAY, and the TORS of Devonshire and 
Derbyshire.^ The higher summits of the TYROL ace 
called Die Tawrren. 

1 Mone, Celtische Forschungen^ p. 127. 

• Some of these may be the " red " mountains. The red hue of Monte 
Rosso, a southern outlier of the Bemina, is very markedly contrasted with 
the neighbouring '* black peak " of Monte Nero. 

• Petronius tells us that this name means a rock. See Diefenbach, Celtkay 
L p. 104 ; Adelung, Mithridates, voL iL p. 54 ; Keferstein, Kelt. Alt, vol. iu 
p. 186 ; Radlof^ Neue Untersuchungen, p* 312 ; De Belloguet, Ethnoginie^ 
voL i. p. 249. 

^ Gilbert and ChurchUl, Dolomite Mountains^ p. 84. 

' According to Pliny, the Scythian name of Caucasus was Grau-casis. 

• We find YES tor, fur tor, hey tor, mis tor, hessary tor, brent 
TOR, HARE TOR, and LYNX TOR, in Devon ; and row tor, mam tor, 
ADYN TOR, CHEE TOR, and OWLAR TOR, in Derbyshire, hentoe, in Lan- 
cashire, is a corruption of Hen Tor. See Diefenbach, CeUica^ ii. pt. i. ppi 
337, 34^ 


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226 The Celts. 

The word ard^ high, great, which forms the first 
portion of the name of the legendary King Arthur,^ 
occurs in some 200 Irish names,^ as ARDAGH, ARDGLASS, 
and ARDFERT. In Scotland we have ARDROSSAN, ar- 
ARRAJg, the lofty island, has been appropriately bestowed 
on islands off the coast of Scotland and Ireland, and it 
attaches also to a mountain in Wales. The LIZARD 
Point is the high cape.* In combination with the word 
den, a wooded valley, it gives us the name of the Forest 
of ARDEN in Warwickshire and in Yorkshire, and that 
of the ARDENNES, the great forest on the borders of 
France and Belgium. AUVERNE is probably, or 
fearann, the "high c6untry."* 

The word cwm^ is very frequently used in Wales, 
where it denotes a cup-shaped depression in the hills. 
This word, in the Saxonized form combe^ often occurs 
in English local names, especially in those counties where 
the Celtic element is strong. In Devonshire we have 
combes among the Mendip hills are very numerous. The 
Celtic county of Cumberland has been supposed to 
take its name from the combes with which it abounds.^ 

1 Yonge, Christian Nanus y vol. iL p. 125. 

■ Sullivan, Dictionary of Derivations t p. 282. 

> Baxter, Glossarium, p. 186. 

* Thierry, Hist, GauL vol. L pp. xxxvi. 5 ; Keferstein, Kdt. Alt, voL ii. 
p. 295. 

B A comb, a measure for com, and the comb of bees, are both from this 
root, which is found in several local dialects in the Celtic parts of France, 
Spain, and Italy, as, for example, the Piedmontese combo, Diez, Etym^ 
Wort. p. 107 ; Diefenbach, Ccltica, I p. 112 ; GlUck, Kdt, Namat, p. 28 ; 
Kemble, Cod, Dipt. vol. iii. p. xvi. 

< Professor Leo, however, maintains the Anglo-Saxon combe was not 
adopted from the Celtic cwm, AnglO'Saxon Names, p. 83. 

f See, however, p. 71, supra. 


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Combe. 227 

Anderson, a Cumberland poet, says of his native 
county : — 

" There's Cvrnwhitton, C»/»whinton, CWmranton, 
CWmrangan, Ciy/mrew, and O/mcatch, 
And xnony mair Cums i' the County, 
But nin wi' Ci^mdivock can match." ^ 

High WYCOMBE in Buckinghamshire, COMBE in Oxford- 
the Isle of Wight, facomb and COMBE in Hampshire, 
and COMPTON,* GOMSHALL, and COMBE, in Surrey, are 
instances of its occurrence in districts where the Celtic 
element is more faint than in the west : and abroad we 
find the root in the name of the Puy de BELLECQMBE 
in Cantal, and not improbably even in the name, of 

The Welsh Zfee/^A, a lake, morass, or hollow, corresponds 
to the Scotch loch and the Irish lough. This word con- 
stitutes the first syllable of the common ancient name 
Lugdunum, which has been modernized into LYONS 
and LEYDEN. We can trace the first portion of the 
Romanized Celtic name Luguballium in the medieval 
Caerluel which superseded it, and which, with little 
change, still survives in the modern form CARLISLE. The 
lake which fills a remarkable bowl-shaped crater in the 
Eifel district of Germany is called LAACH. We find the 
same root in Lukotekia, Lukotokia, or Lutetia, the 
ancient name of Paris.* 

^ Sullivan, Dictionary of Derivations^ p. 286. 

' There are twenty-three parishes of this name in England. 

* Old Paris was confined on the island which divides the Seine into two 
branches. The name seems to be from llwck^ and toki^ to cut. Prichard, 
Researches^ vol. iii. p. 132. From the related Welsh word llaith^ moist, we 
have the nameof arles, anciently Arelate, the town ''on the marsh.'' See 
p. 86, supra; Gliick, Kdt, Namen, pp. 30, 114, 115 ; Pott, Etyni, Forsch, 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

228 The Celts. 

The Cymric prefix tre^ a place or dwelling,^ is a useful 
test-word, since it does not occur in names derived from 
the Gaelic or Erse languages.* It occurs ninety-six 
times in the village-names of Cornwall/ more than 
twenty times in those of Wales ; and is curiously distri- 
buted over the border counties. We find it five times in 
Herefordshire, three times in Devon, Gloucester, and 
Somerset, twice in Shropshire, and once in Worcester, 
Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, and Northumber- 
land.* It is frequent in Brittany, it occurs some thirty 
times in other parts of France, and twice or thrice iil 
the Celtic part of Spain.* TREVES, anciently Augusta 
TV^irorum, TROYES, anciently Civitas Tricassium, and 
TRICASTIN, near Orange, exhibit this widely-diffused 

voL ii. pp. 42, 536 ; Astruc, HisU Langucdoc, p. 424 ; Menage, Origuus^ 

p. 57 ; Davies, CelHc Researches^ pp. 221, 500; Radlof, Neue Untersuck- 

ungeHf p. 290; De Belloguet, Ethnoginie^ voL i. p. 115. 
^ The Tref or Hamlet was the primary division of a British sept 
' It is related to the Irish treabh^ a clan, and, more distantly, to the 

Latin tribus, Mone, Celtische Farsch, p. 204; Leo, Voriesungefty voL i. p. 149; 

Diefenbach, CelHca^ i. pp. 146, 147 ; Williams, Essays^ p. 85 ; GerviUe^ 

Noms^ p. 22$ ; Latham, Germania^ p. 98 ; Pictet, Orig, Indo-Europ. vol. iL 

p. 291 ; Gliick, KelL Namen, pp. 39, 40. 

* More than a thousand times, if we include hamlets and single home- 
steads. Hence it entere into a vast number of Cornish territorial surnames. 
There is an old adage which says : — 

" By Tre, Pol, and Pen, 
You may know the Cornish men." 

* We have, for example, such names as— Trefonen, Tre-evan, Tretire, 
Trevill, andTrewen, in Herefordshire; Trebroader, in Shropshire; Tie- 
borough in Somerset ; Treton in Yorkshire ; Trebroun in Berwickshire; 
Trehom in Cunningham, in Ayrshire ; Tretown in Fifeshire ; Tr^;allon in 
Kirkcudbright ; Treuchan in Perthshire. Such names as Uchiltre in Ayr- 
shire, Wigtonshire, and Linlithgow ; Wavertree in Lancashire ; Braintree 
in Essex ; Oswestry in Shropshire ; and Coventry in Warwickshire, may, 
or may not, contain this root. The substantive in Celtic names is usually, 
but not invariably, the prefix. See p. 223, supra, 



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Names of Dwellings, 229 

Cymric root The tribe of the 'DnrotrigtSj the dwellers 
by the water, have given a portion of their name to 
DORSET, and the A/r^bates have bestowed theirs upon 
ARRAS and ARTOIS. In Italy we find the name Treba, 
TREBBIA, and TRIESTE, besides TRIENT in the Italian 
Tyrol, and other similar names in the most Celtic part 
of Italy, near the head of the Adriatic. 

Bod, a house, is very common in Cornwall,* and appears 
also in Wales. Ty means a cottage, and is universally 
prevalent in Wales, though it enters into few important 
names. In Cornwall it takes also the forms Chy and Ky,^ 
and in Brittany it appears as Qui and Cae? 

Llan^ an inclosure, and hence, in later times, the sacred 
inclosure, or church, is also a useful Cymric test-word. 
It occurs ninety-seven times in the village-names of 
Wales, thirteen times in those of Cornwall, in Shrop- 
shire and in Herefordshire seven times, in Gloucester- 
shire four times, and in Devon twice. It is also found 
in the Cymric part of Scotland,* and is very common in 

The original meaning of Ian was probably not an in- 
closure, but a level plain,^ such as the LANDES, the vast 
sandy flats near Bayonne, or the LLANOS, the sea-like 
plains of South America. In a mountainous country 

^ E,g, BODMIN, the stone house. 

• E,g, CHYNOWETH, the new house, kynance, the house in the valley. 
Pryce, Arch, Comu-Brit, sub voc. 




• Cf. Talbot, Eng. Ety. p. 55 ; Pryce, Arch. Cornu-Brit. s. v. Our 
words lawn and land come from the same ultimate root Compare how- 
ever the Per^an Idn, a yard. Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. vol. ii. p. 19. 


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230 The Celts. 

like Wales such level spots would be the first to be 
inclosed, and it is easy to perceive the process by which 
the transition of meaning might be effected. The root, 
in its primary meaning, appears in the name of MI-LAN, 
which stands in the midst of the finest plain in Europe. 
The Latin name Medioiizwum, probably embodies, or 
perhaps partly translates, the ancient enchorial word^ 
The Celtic word, mauy a district, is probably to be 

sought in MAINE, MANS, MANTES, and MAYENNE in 

France, in MANTUA in Italy, in LA MANCHA and MANXES 
in Spain, in England in MANSFIELD, in Mancunium, now 
MANCHESTER, in Manduessedum, now mancester, as 
' well as in MONA, the MENAI Straits, the Isle of MAN, and 
several Cornish names.* 

Nant^ a valley, is a conmion root in the Cymric dis- 
tricts of our island, as in NANT-FRANGON, the beavers* 
valley, in Carnarvonshire; or NANTGLYN in Denbighshire, 
NAN BIELD is the name of a steep pass in Westmore- 
land, and NANTWICH stands in a Cheshire valley. In 
Cornwall we find NANS, NANCEMELLIN, the valley of the 
mill, PENNANT, the head of the valley, and TRENANCE, 
the town in the valley. It is also found in NANTUA in 
Burgundy, NANCY in Lorraine, NANTES in Brittany, and 
the VAL DE NANT in Neufchitel. All Chamounix 
tourists will remember NANT BOURANT, NANT d'arpe- 

1 Niebuhr, Lectures on Geography and Ethnology^ vol. ii. p. 235. Leo, 
Vorlesungen, vol. i. p. 194, makes Milan meiden llan^ the great temple. 
Adelung, Mithridates, vol. ii. p. 64, thinks the first syllable is mtdu^ a low 
place. See Salverte, Essai sur Us Noms, vol. il p. 279 ; De Belloguct, 
Ethnoginie^ vol. L p. 222, 

> See PhUolcg. Proceed, p. 118. Mona and the Isle of Man are perhaps 
from the Welsh mon^ separate. Cf. the Greek ijuiyos, Cambro-BritoH^ 
vol. ill p. 170 ; Notes and Queries, 2d series, voL ii. p. ao. 


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Valleys and Plains. 23 1 

NANGY, and the other nants or valleys of Savoy, which 
were once, as this word proves, possessed by the same 
people who now inhabit the valleys of North Wales.^ 

The ancient kingdom of GWENT comprised the coun- 
ties of Monmouth and Glamorgan, and Monmouth still 
locally goes by this name. A Newport newspaper is 
called the Star of Gwent The word denotes an open 
champaign country, and the uncouth Celtic word was 
Latinized by the Romans into Venta. Venta Silurum 
is now CAER-WENT in Monmouthshire, Venta Belgarum 
IS now WIN-CHESTER, and Bennaventa is now DA- 
VENT-RY. The Veneti were the people who inhabited 
the open plain of Brittany, and they have left their name 
in the district of LA VENDUE and the town of VANNES. 
The vast plain at the mouth of the Po, where Celtic 
names abound, has from the earliest times been called 
VENETIA,* a name which may probably be referred to the 
same root, as well perhaps as Benev-entum, now BENE- 
VENTO, and Treventum, now TRIVENTO.' 

Most of the Celtic roots which we have hitherto 

1 Smith, DicL tf Gr, and Rom, Geogr, subvoc. Nantuates; Diefenbach, 
Cdtica^ L p. 82 ; Court de Gebelin, Monde Prim. p. xxiv ; Thierry, Hist, 
Gaul. vol. ii. p. 34 ; Adelung, MithridaUs^ vol. ii. p. 64 ; De Belloguet, 
Ethnoghtie^ vol. i. p. 211. The singular way in which this root nant is 
confined to Wales and the region of the High Alps, has suggested the 
doubt whether it be an original C3rmric gloss, or not rather one adopted 
from an earlier Liguro-Iberian wave of population. See Robertson, ScoU 
land under her Early Kings, voL ii. p. 223. 

> Vannes and Venetia may possibly be from vtnna, a fisherman. See 
however p. 79, supra. Mommsen thinks the Veneti of the Adriatic were 
not Celts, but Illyrians. Hisi, Rome, voL ii p. 76. 

• See Guest on Early Settlements in South Britain, in Proceedings of Arch, 
Instii, ioT 1849, p. 33 ; Guest in Philolog, Pr. vol L p. 10 ; Archdeacon 
Willjanis, Ed, Trans, p. 535 ; Essays, p. 82 ; Cambro- Briton, vol. i. pp. 
I7ff i^ ; Dtefenbach, Celtica, u. pt i p. 343 ; Mone, Gesch, Heidenth, 
voL IL p. 424. 


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232 The Celts. 

.considered are distinctively Cymric rather than Gaelic 
or Erse. Such are cefn^ bryn^ cwniy llan, tre, nanty and 
gwenU Dun and llwch are common to both branches 
of the Celts, while the Gaelic betty centiy and carraig 
.are closely related to the Cymric/^ and craig. 

The next root to be considered is decisively Gadhelic, 
and is, therefore, very useful as a test-word in discrimi- 
nating between the districts peopled by the two great 
branches of the Celtic stock. 

The word magh} a plain or field, is found in more 
than a hundred Irish names, such as MAGH-ERA, MAY- 
NOOTH, AR-MAGH. On the Continent it is found in 
many ancient and modem names.^ In Germany we find 
^a^etoburgum, now mag-DEBURG ; J/iTg-ontiacum, now 
MAI-NTZ, and other names ; ^ and in north-eastern 
France this root was equally common.* 

The chief Cymric roots are found scattered over 
Spain, Northern Italy, Switzerland, and Southern Ger- 
.many ; but the root maghy the Gadhelic test-word, seems 

^ Sanskrit, maht, terra. The Welsh form is maesy as in Maes Gannon, 
Mesham, Maesbury, Maseriield, Masbrook, Woodmas. The maes or 
MEUSE is the river of meadows. The English mathy and to mowy and the 
Latin meto are cognate words. See Diefenbach, Cdtica^ i. p. 77 ; Mone, 
CeUische Farschungettj p. 228 ; Sullivan, Diet, of DeriuationSy p. 291 ; 
Astruc, Hist LanguedoCy p. 437 ; Pictet, Orig, Jndo-Europ. vol. iL p. loi ; 
Gliick, Kdt Namerty pp. 123 — 125 ; Zeuss, Gramtnatica Cdtica, toL i 

p. 5. 

' The suffix inagus occurs forty-seven times in Prichard's lists. Researches^ 
vol. iiL 

' E.g. Marcoma^us, now yLKrmagen, Noviom^^us (Newfidd), now 
Ni^Tf^^n, RigoxM^us (Kingsfield), now Rheinm^^n, Borbetovn^fus, now 
Worms, and Dumomj^us, a place near Cologne. 

^ We have it in Kotoxvd^us, now Rouen, Noiom^us, now Nemoun, 
Novioma^us Lexoviorum, now Lisieux, Cdssaccomagyxsy now Beauvais, 
lyjlxomagMs, now Angers, Aiigento/wjifus, now Argento^i, Catorim4^pis» 
now Chorges, and Sermanico/^^us, now Chermez. 


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Cymric and Gadkelic Test-words. 235 

to be confined almost entirely to the district of the lower 
Rhine and its tributaries. In Switzerland it does not 
appear,^ and in Italy it occurs only in the district peopled 
by the intrusive Boii.* In southern and western France 
it hardly occurs at all, and it is found only once or 
twice in Britain.' We may therefore conclude that while 
the Cymry came from the region of the Alps, the 
Gadhelic branch of the Celts must have migrated from 
the valleys of the Rhine and the Moselle. It seems 
to have been from this district that the earliest historic 
movement of the Celts took place. Three Celtic tribes 
burst through the Alps ; they pillaged Rome, and, after 
returning to lUyria for a while, they broke in upon 
Greece, and plundered the treasures at Delphi.* They 
settled for a time in Thrace, where we have local traces 

^ The Swiss form maty a meadow, which appears in zermat and 
AN DERM AT, is found Only in the Cymric, and not in the Gaelic portions of 
Great Britain. E^. MATHERN in Monmouth and in Hereford. 

* We have Rigo^M^s near Tniin, Bodinoom<^us on the Po, and 
Camelioma,,fiis near Placentia. 

s We have Mag\D!oxaL, now Dunstable. Close to the town is an ancient 
earthwork, called the Maiden Bower, or the Maidning Bourne, which 
seems to be a corruption of the Celto- Saxon name Mageburg. See 
Gough*6 Camden, vol. ii. pp. 49, 55. The original name of Csesarom^i^us 
was probably Dunomagus, as is indicated by the modem name dunmow. 
Sitoimi^ais is, perhaps, Thetford. The position of these places is a strong 
conoboration of the opinion held by many Celtic scholars, that East Anglia 
was Gaelic rather than Cymric. See various Papers by the Rev. J. Davies, 
in the Transactions of the Pkilologiccd Society ; and Davies, Cdtic Researches, 
p. 203. 

^ See Contzen, Wanderungen der KeUen^ pp. 97 — 262 ; Conybeare and 
Howson, Life of St, Paul, vol i. p. 2S4 ; Zeuss, Die Deutschen^ pp. .180— 
1S4 ; Rawlinson, Herodotus, vol. iii. p. 190 ; Arnold, History of Rome, 
ToL L p. 522 ; Niebuhr, History of Rome, voL iL p. 524 ; Ij&tham, 
Germania, pp. 83, 98 ; Prichard, Eastern Origin of Celt. Nat. pp. 104 — 
1 10 ; Lindsay, Progression, p. 62 ; Duncker, Orig, Germ, pp. 36 — 39 ; 
Keferstein, Kdt, Alt, vol ii. p. 348 ; Radlo^ Neue Untersuchungen, pp. 


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234 The Celts. 

of a still earlier abode of a Celtic people, and then 
crossing the Bosphorus, they took possession of the 
central parts of Asia Minor, to which they gave the name 
of Galatia, the land of the Gael, and where they long re- 
tained their Celtic speech,* and the ethnical peculiarities 
of their Celtic blood.* Here, curiously enough, we again 
encounter this root magy which is found so abundantly in 
the district from which they emigrated. In the Galatian 
district we find the names of ^(O^gydus, Afa^bula, 
Mag^ki^i, Afygdale, Magnesia, (twice), and the Jkfygdones, 
In Thessaly, where these Celts settled for a time, we 
also find two of these names, ^^j^esia, and the district 
of AfygdoniaL, which lay on the banks of the Axius, a 
Celtic river-name.* Magaba, is on the Halys, which is a 
Celtic word, meaning salt river. In Lycia, according to 
Strabo, there was an enormous rocky summit, steeply 
scarped on every side, called Kpo^o?.* 

^ Galatas . . . propriam lingaam eandem pene habere quam Treviros. 
Jerome, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians^ Prooemium. 

s We see, from many indications in St. Paul's Epistle, that the "foolish 
Galatians," who were so easily "bewitched," were like the rest of the 
Gaelic race — ^fickle, enthusiastic, fond of glory and display, and at the same 
time lively, witty, eloquent, and full of good sense and good feeling. The 
Galatians, like all other Celtic peoples, made admirable soldiers, and OTcr- 
threw the invincible phalanx of Macedonia. We recognise in them the 
same military qualities which have made the charge of the Highland dans 
and of the Irish regiments so terrible, and which have rendered so fiunofua 
the brilliant Celtic mercenaries of France and Carthage. 

* These Thessalian names, occurring as they do in Homer and Hero- 
dotus, must be attributed to the earlier Celtic occupancy of this region. 

^ Diefenbach, Celtica, i. p. 104. There are many other Celtic names ia 
Galatia and the neighbouring parts of Bithynia and Magnesia ; such as the 
Rivers iEsius, iEsyros, and iEson, which apparently contain the root a^ 
water. See p. 203, supra, Abr-os-tola seems to contain the root aier as 
well See p. 245, infra, Vindia, Cinna, and Brianise caU to mind the roots 
gwmtt cenn^ and bryn. See pp. 231, 221, 224, supra. Armorium reminds us 
of Armorica. Olen^ in Galatia, reminds us of Olenseum in Britain, and 


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Celts in Galatia. 235 

The accumulative evidence furnished by these Celtic 
names has been exhibited in a very imperfect manner, 
but enough has probably been adduced to lead irresis- 
tibly to the conclusion that large portions of Italy, Spain, 
France, Switzerland, and Germany, were at some period 
inhabited by the race which now retains its speech and 
its nationality only in a few of the western comers of 
Europe — Ireland, the Scotch Highlands, the Isle of Man, 
Wales, and Brittany. 

The following may be offered as a brief summary 
of the results disclosed by the evidence of these Celtic 

There is no ground for any probable conjectures as to 
the time and place at which the division of the Celts into 
their two great branches may be supposed to have taken 

In central Europe we find traces of both Cymry and 

The most numerous people of primaeval Germany 
were of the Gadhelic branch. They were not only the 
most numerous, but they were also the earliest to arrive. 
This is indicated by the fact that throughout Germany 
we find no Cymric, Sclavonic, or Teutonic names which 
have undergone phonetic changes in accordance with the 
genius of the Erse or Gaelic languages. Hence it may 
be inferred that the Gaels, on their arrival, found 
Germany unoccupied, and that their immigration was 
therefore of a peaceful character. 

Olin in GanL Agannia reminds us of Agennum in Gaul. An Episcopus 
Taviensis came from Galatia to attend the Nicene Council. We have 
also the apparently Celtic names Acitorizacum, Ambrenna, Eccobriga, 
Landrosia, Roslogiacum, and the River Siberis. Diefenbach, Cdtica^ ii 
pt. L pp. 256, 313, &C. ; Thierry, Histoiredes Gaulois^ vol. L pp. 145, seq, ; 
De Belloguet, EthnoginU^ vol L p. 249. 


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^S6 . The Celts, 

Next came the Cymry. They came " as conquerors, 
and in numbers they were fewer than the Gaels whom 
they found in possession. This we gather from the 
fact that there are comparatively few pure Cymric 
names in Germany, but a large number of Gadhelic 
names which have been Cymricized. From the topo- 
graphical distribution of these names we infer that the 
Gaels arrived from the east, and the Cymry from the 

The large number of Cymric names in northern Italy,* 
and the fact that several of the passes of the Alps * bear 
Cymric names, seem also to indicate the quarter whence 
the Cymric invasion proceeded. 

Lastly came the Germans from the north — ^they were 
conquerors, and fewer in number than either the Cymry 

^ See Meyer, in Bunsen's Phil, of Univ. Hist vol. i. p. 148 ; and Mone, 
Celtische Forschungen, In the lists given by Keferetein (vol. it pp. i — loi) 
there are about 2,400 German words which bear more or less resemblance 
to their Celtic synonyms. The resemblance, in many cases, is only what is 
due to the common Aryan source ; but, from other instances, we may fairly 
infer the existence, for a time, of a Celtic remnant among the Teutonic 
conquerors. On Celtic names in Germany see Leo, Vorlemngm, vol. i. p. 
194, seq. ; Mahn, Namm Berlin und JCdln^ p. 7 ; Keferstein, JCdt Alt. 
vol. ii. ; Mone, Celtische Forschungen, passim ; MiiUer, Marken d. Vttterl. 
pp. 117 — 128 ; Duncker, Origines Germ. pp. 44 — 7a 

■ We find the roots llan^ gwent^ a/on, is, stour, chvr, tre^ ter. Sec pp. 
229, 231, &c ; Williams, in vol. xiii. of Trans, of Royal Society of Edin. 
passim; Latham, note to Prichard's Eastern Origin, pp. 121 — 133. A 
large number of words are common to the Celtic and LAtin languages 
— lists will be found in Keferstein, Kdt. Alterth, vol. ii. pp. 102 — 172; 
Newman, RegcU Rome, pp. 1 7 — 25 ; Donaldson, English Ethnograp^^ 
p. 37 ; and see Diez, Etym. Worterbuch, passim. Compare, for instance, 
the words sagitta and saighead, lorica and luireach, tdum and tailm, 

' Celtic names are very numerous in the Alp^. See Meyer, Ortsnamen; 
Schott, Deut. Pied. Col. pp. 216, 225; Keferstein, Kelt. Alt. vol. ii. p. 375 ; 
Latham, in Prichard's Eastern Origin, p. 84, seq. ; Zeuss, Deutschen, pp. 


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Celts in Germany and France. 237 

or the Gael. They have Germanized many Gadhelic 
names which had previously been Cymricized.^ 

The names of northern and central France are still 
more decisively Celtic than those of Germany.^ In 
Brittany the Armorican, a language closely allied to the 
Welsh, is still spoken, and the local names, with few ex- 
ceptions, are derived from Cymric roots, and are in a 
much purer and more easily recognisable form than in 
other parts. But we find that the same names which 
occur in Brittany are also scattered over the rest of 
France, though more sparingly, and in more corrupted 
forms. Brandes « has compiled a list of more than three 
hundred Breton names, which also occur in other parts 
of France.* In the north-east of France we find a few 

^ See Mone, CelHsche Forschungen, p. 172. 

' Though the Celtic tongue was spoken m France down to the sixth 
century, very few Celtic words have found their place in the French lan- 
guage. A good many, however, linger in the provincial dialects. A list 
will be found in Courson, Histoire des Peuples Bretons^ vol. 1. pp. 31—41. 
But without the evidence of local names we should have no conception of 
the real amount of the Celtic element in France. See Milman, Hist. LaU 
Christianity t voL vi. p. 340 ; Diez, Gram, Rom, Spr, vol. i. p. 80 ; Addung, 
Mithridates^ vol. il p. 35. On Celtic names in France, see Diefenbach, 
Cdtica; Gliick, Kdtischen Namen ; De Belloguet, Ethnoghtie Caulois ; 
Kennedy, mPhilolog. Trans, for 1855, p. 166 ; and two silly books — Astruc, 
Hist. Nat, de Languedoc^ pp. 422 — ^457, and Court de Gebelin, Monde 
Primitiff vol. v, pp. xx — ^xxv. 

' Das Ethnographische Verhaltniss der Kdten und Germanen, pp. 257 — 
261. Courson, Histoire des Peuples Bretons, vol. i. pp. 42 — ^45, gives a 
similar list Cf. Souvestre, Les Demiers Britons, vol. ii. p. 164, on the two 
races inhabiting respectively the mountains and the plains. 

* Thus we have avon four times, bryn nine times, tre thirty times, as 
well as Uan, is, ar, dwr, garw, &c The theory has been advanced that 
the Bretons of Brittany were a colony from Cornwall or Devon. No doubt 
there was a great amount of intercourse. The Cornwall and Devon of 
France afforded refuge to the emigrants expelled by the Saxons from 
the Cornwall and Devon of England ; but the local names of France 
prove conclusively that the Bretons were once more widely spread. 


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238 The Celts. 

Gaelic and Erse ^ roots, which are altogether absent from 
the local nomenclature of the west, a fact which suggests 
that the Gaels of Germany may have crossed this part 
of France on their way to the British Isles. 

But in south-western France— the region between the 
Garonne and the Pyrenees — ^the Celtic names, which are 
so universally diffused over the other portions of the 
kingdom, are most conspicuously absent The names 
which we find in this district are not even Indo-Euro- 
pean,^ but belong to quite another family of human 
speech — the Turanian, which includes the languages 
which are now spoken by the Turks, the Magyars, the 
Finns and Lapps of Northern Europe, and their distant 
congeners, the Basques, who inhabit the western portion 
of the Pyrenees. These Spanish mountaineers, who now 
number three-quarters of a million, seem to be the sole 
unabsorbed remnant of the powerful nation which once 
occupied the greater portion of Spain, the half of 
France, the whole of Sardinia and Corsica, and large 
portions of Italy. Whether these Iberians, or Euska- 
rians as they are called, were the earliest inhabitants of 
Spain, or whether they were preceded by Celtic tribes, 
is still a disputed question among ethnologists. It is 
doubtful whether they crossed into Spain by the Straits 
of Gibraltar, or whether they crept along the coast of 
the Mediterranean from Liguria, and penetrated by the 
north-eastern defiles of the Pyrenees.* The whole sub- 
See Palgrave, Eng, Com, voL L p. 382 ; Turner, Angto-Saxonsj voL iL 
p. 213. 

^ The Glossa Malperga^ recently disinterred by Leo, contains the laws of 
a Belgian tribe, written in a hmguage nearly akin to Irish. 

* Pott, Art. Jndo-Germ. Sprach-Stammy in Ersch und Gruber, p. 250 ; 
Arndt, Europ, Spr, pp. 19 — 23 ; Brace, Races of Old Worlds p. 252. 

' The absence of Iberic names from Easterti Europe and Asia seem to 


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Euskarians. 239 

ject of the ancient ethnology of Spain has been dis- 
cussed in an admirable and exhaustive manner by Baron 
Wilhelm von Humboldt, in his work entitled " Priifung 
der Untersuchungen uber die alter Bewohner Hispa- 
niens."^ The materials of this investigation consist 
chiefly of the ancient names which are found in Pliny, 
Ptolemy, Strabo, and the Itineraries. These names he 
endeavours to trace to Celtic or Euskarian roots, and 
compares them with the Basque names now found in the 
Asturias. One of the most prevalent words is asta^ a 
rock, which we have in ASTURIA, ASTORGA, asta, ASTE- 
Other names. The root ura^ water, occurs in ASTURIA,^ 
Iturria, a fountain, is found in the names ITURISSA, 
acteristic Euskarian terminations are «m, pa, etani, 
etania^ gis, ilia, and ula. The characteristic initial syl- 
lables are al, ar, as, bae, bi, bar, ber, cal, ner, sal, si, tai, 
and tu. These roots are found chiefly in eastern and 
northern Spain, in the valley of the Tagus, and on the 

make it probable that the Iberians crossed from Africa, and spread over 
Spain, and thence to France, the Italian coast land, and the Mediterranean 
Islands. The Celts seem to have been the conquering, and the Iberians 
the conquered people. Pott, Indo-Germ. Spr, p. 25. See, however, 
Nicbuhr, Hist. Rome, vol ii. p. 520. There appear to be a few Euskarian 
names in Thrace. Humboldt, Priifung, pp. 118— 120. 

^ On Iberic names see also Zeuss, Die DetUschen und die Nachharstdmme, 
pp. 160 — 164 ; Prichard, Researches into the Physical History 0/ Mankind, 
voL iiL p. 20 — 48 ; Diefenbach, Celtica, iL pp. I — 52 ; Robertson, Scotland 
under her Early Kings^ vol. iL p. 221 ; Adelung, Mithridates, vol. ii. pp. 
12—30. The work by S. F. W. Hoffmann, Die Iberer im Westen und 
Osten, I have not been able to procure. 

< On the name Asturia see Humboldt, Priifung, pp. 23, 30 ; Diefenbach, 
Cdtica, ii. part i. p. 312, and L p. 27. 

■ See p. 55, su^a. 


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240 The Celts. 

southern coast, while in Galicia, in the' valleys of the 
Minho ^ and the Guadiana, and in southern Portugal, the 
names are purely Celtic,^ and there seems to have been 
no infusion of an Euskarian element. Various fortresses 
in the Iberic district bear Celtic names, while in the 
mountainous district of central Spain a fusion of the 
two races would seem to have taken place, probably by 
a Celtic conquest of Iberic territory, and the Celtiberians^ 
as they are called, separated the pure Celts from the pure 

In Aquitania proper * there is hardly a single Celtic 
name — all are Iberic or Romance. In Italy Iberic 
names are not uncommon,^ and it has been thought that 
some faint traces of a Turanian, if not of an Iberic po- 
pulation are perceptible in the names of north-western 
Africa, of Sicily, and even of the extreme west of 

In the British Isles, the Gaelic, the Erse, the Manx, 
and the Welsh, are still living languages. Just as in 
Silesia and Bohemia the Sclavonic is now gradually 

1 The Mynnow or Mynwy, on which Monmouth stands, is the same 

< Dr. Latham has noticed the significant fact that the Celtic roots mag 
and duriy which occur so abundantly in other districts peopled by the Celts, 
are not found in Spain. This may indicate that the Spanish Celts woe 
separated from their kinsfolk at an early period. 

» On Euskarian names in France see Humboldt, Prufung^ pp. 91 — 95. 

4 We find uria in Apulia, astura near Antium, asta in Liguria, as w^ 
as liguria, basta, biturgia, and others which are compounded with the 
Euskarian roots, asta^ a rock, ura^ water, and ilia or ulitiy a dty. Hum- 
boldt, Prufungy pp. Ill— 118. 

Professor Keyser, of Christiania, has endeavoured to prove a wide 
extension of Iberic tribes over the extreme Western shores of Europe. 
See Prichard, Report on Ethnology to Brit. Assoc, in 1847, p. 246 ; Meyer, 
ib, ; Wilson, Frehist. Annals^ P« ll ; Robertson, Early Kings, voL L 


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Retrocession of Celts in England. 241 

receding before the German language, so in the British 
Isles a similar process has been going on for more than 
fourteen centuries. We have documentary evidence of 
this process. The ancient documents relating to the 
parishes north of the Forth, exhibit a gradually in- 
creasing proportion of Teutonic names. In the Taxatio 
of the twelfth century, only 2 J per cent, are Teutonic ; 
in the Chartularies, from the twelfth to the fourteenth 
century, the proportion rises to 4 per cent., and in the 
tax rolls of 1554 to nearly 25 per cent^ In the south 
of the island a similar retrocession of the Celtic speech 
may be traced. Thus in the will of Alfred, Dorset, 
Somerset, Wilts, and Devon, are enumerated as " Wealh- 
cynne," a phrase which proves that these counties were 
then thoroughly Celtic in blood and language, although 
politically they belonged to the Anglo-Saxon common- 
wealth.^ Dr. Guest has shown that the valleys of the 
Frome and the Bristol Avon formed an intrusive Welsh 
wedge, protruding into the Saxon district.' Athelstan 
found Britons and Saxons in joint occupation of the city 
of Exeter. He expelled the former, and drove them 
beyond the Tamar, and fixed the Wye as the boundary 
of the Northern Cymry. Harold, son of Godwin, 
ordered that every Celt found east of OfTa's Dyke should 
have his right hand struck off.* But even so late as 
the time of Henry II. Herefordshire was not entirely 
Anglicized, and it was only in the reign of Henry VIII. 
that Monmouthshire was first numbered among the 
English counties. In remote parts of Devon the 

1 Chalmers, Caledonia^ vol. i. pp. 484, 485. 

* Palgiave, English CommonwecUth^ vol. i. p. 41a 
> Archaolog, Journal^ vol. xvi. 

* Lappenbcrg, Atiglo-Saxan Kings, vol i. p. 231. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

242 The Celts. 

ancient Cymric speech feebly lingered on till the reign 
of Elizabeth, while in Cornwall it was the general 
medium of intercourse in the time of Henry VIII. In 
the time of Queen Anne it was confined to five or six 
villages in the western portion of the county, and it has 
only become extinct within the lifetime of living men 
(A.D. 1777)^ while the Celtic race has survived the ex- 
tinction of their language with little intermixture of 
Teutonic blood. In the west of Glamorgan, in Flint, 
Denbigh, and part of Montgomery, the English language 
has almost entirely displaced the Welsh, and in the 
other border counties it is rapidly encroaching. In fact, 
we may now see in actual operation the same gradual 
process which has taken place throughout the rest of 
Britain. In Wales, the change of language, now in pro- 
gress, is accompanied by very little infusion of Saxon 
blood. The same must also have been the case at an 
earlier period. In Mercia and Wessex, at all events, 
we must believe that the bulk of the people is of Celtic 
blood. The Saxon keels cannot have transported any 
very numerous population, and, no doubt, the ceorls, or 
churls, long continued to be the nearly pure-blooded de- 
scendants of the aboriginal Celts of Britain.^ 

These theoretical conclusions are thoroughly borne 
out by the evidence of the local names. Throughout 
the whole island almost every river-name is Celtic, 
most of the shire-names contain Celtic roots,* and a fair 

1 Gough*s Camden, vol L p. 15 ; Halliwell, Cornwall^ pp. 167 — 174. 
Many Cornish words still survive, as quUquin^ a frog. 

> Palgrave, English Common, voL up. 26 ; Davies, in Philolog, Trams. 
for 1857, p. 75 ; Diefenbadi, CeUka^ ii. part ii. p. 140. 

s Cambridge, ComwaU, Cumberland, Devon, Dorset, Durham, Glouoes* 
ter, Hertford, Huntingdon, Kent, Lancaster, Lincoln, Monmouth, North- 
umberland, Oxford, Worcester, and York, together with all the Welsh. 


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Celt and Saxon. 243 

sprinkling of names of hills, valleys, and fortresses, bears 
witness that the Celt was the aboriginal possessor of the 
soil ; while in the border counties of Salop, Hereford, 
Gloucester, Dorset, Somerset, and Devon, and in the 
mountain fastnesses of Derbyshire and Cumberland, not 
only are the names of the great natural features of the 
country derived from the Celtic speech, but we find oc- 
casional village-names, with the prefixes Ian and tre^ 
interspersed among the Saxon patronymics. A large 
number of the chief ancient centres of population, such 
bear Celtic names, while the Teutonic town names 
usually indicate by their suffixes that they originated in 
isolated family settlements in the uncleared forest,^ or 
arose from the necessities of traffic in the neighbourhood 
of some frequented ford.^ These facts, taken together, 
prove that the Saxon immigrants, for the most part, left 
the Celts in possession of the towns, and subdued, each 
for himself, a portion of the unappropriated waste. It 
is obvious therefore, that a very considerable Celtic 
element of population must, for a long time, have sub- 
sisted, side by side with the Teutonic invaders, without 
much mutual interference. In time the Celts acquired 
the language of the more energetic race, and the two 
peoples at last ceased to be distinguishable. Just in the 
same way, during the last two centuries, Anglo-Saxon 
colonists have been establishing themselves among the 
aborigines of North America, of the Cape, and of New 

and Scotch shires, except Anglesea, Montgomery, Haddington, Kircud- 
bright, Stirling, Sutherland, and Wigton. 

1 E,g. Buckingham, Reading, Derby, &c. 

s E,g, Stafford, Bedford, Chehnsford, &c 

R 2 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 


Tfu Celts, 

Zealand, and the natives have not been at once extermi- 
nated, but are being slowly absorbed and assimilated by 
the superior vigour of the incoming race. 

To exhibit the comparative amount of the Celtic, the 
Saxon, and the Danish elements of population in various 
portions of the island, an analysis has been made of the 
names of villages, hamlets, hills, woods, valleys, &c^ 
in the counties of Suffolk, Surrey, Devon, Cornwall, and 

Per centage of 
Names from the 






Isle of 


Celtic .... 
Anglo-Saxon . 
Norse .... 

















By far the greater number of Celtic names in Eng- 
land are of the Cymric type. Yet, as we have already 
seen,2 there is a thin stream of Gadhelic names which 
extends across the island from the Thames to the 
Mersey, as if to indicate the route by which the Gaels 
passed across to Ireland, impelled, probably, by the suc- 
ceeding hosts of Cymric invaders. 

The Cymry held the lowlands of Scotland as far as 
the Perthshire hills.^ The names in the valleys of the 

^ River names are excluded from the computation. 

« E,g. Dun»«w, Ouse, &c. See pp. 204, 233, supra. 

8 On the limits of the Cymry and Gael in Scotland, see Gamett, "On 
the relation of the Picts and Gael," in Philolog. Proceed, vol. i. and Essays^ 
pp. 196—204; Chalmers, Caledonia^ vol. i. ; Robertson, Scotland under her 
Early Kings, vol. ii. pp. 360—381 ; Skene, Hist, of the Highlanders, voL i. 
pp. 67—87 ; Donaldson, English Ethnography, pp. 36, 37 ; Diefenbach, 
Celtica, ii. pt. ii. pp. 176, seq. 


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Estimate of tJie Amount of the Celtic Element. 245 

Clyde and the Forth are Cymric, not Gaelic. At a later 
period the Scots,^ an Irish sept, crossed over into Argyle, 
and gradually extended their dominion over the whole 
of the north-west of Scotland, encroaching here and 
there on the Cymry who held the lowlands, and who 
were probably the people who go by the name of 
Picts. In the ninth century the monarchy of the Picts 
was absorbed by the Scots. The Picts, however, still 
maintained a distinct ethnical existence, for we find 
them fighting in the battle of the Standard against 
Stephen. In the next century they disappear myste- 
riously from history.* 

To establish the point, that the Picts, or the nation, 
whatever was its name, that held central Scotland, was 
Cymric, not Gaelic, we may refer to the distinction 
already mentioned * between ben and pen, Ben is con- 
fined to the west and north ; pen to the east and south. 
Inver and aber are also useful test-words in discrimi- 
nating between the two branches of the Celts. The 
difference between the two words is dialectic only ; the 
etymology and the meaning are the same — a confluence 
of waters, either of two rivers, or of a river with the sea. 
Aber occurs repeatedly in Brittany,* and is found Tn 
about fifty Welsh names, such as ABERDARE, ABERGA- 
corruption of Abermaw. In England we find -^^^rford 
in Yorkshire, and Berwick in Northumberland and 

^ In ancient records Scotia means Ireland. North Britain was called 
Nova Scotia. In the twelfth century the Clyde and Forth were the 
Southern boundary of what was then called Scotland. Palgrave, EngUsh 
Comnunrwealth^ vol. i. p. 420 ; vol. iv. p. 308. 

* Palgrave, En^ish Commonwealth^ vol. i. p. 418, 
» See p. 220, supra, 



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246 The Celts. 

Sussex ; and it has been thought that the name of the 
HUMBER is a corruption of the same root. Invety the 
Erse and Gaelic form, is common in Ireland, where aber 
is unknown. Thus we find places called INVER, in 
Antrim, Donegal, and Mayo, and INVERMORE, in Gal- 
way and in Mayo. In Scotland, the invers and abers 
are distributed in a curious and instructive manner. If 
we draw a line across the map from a point a little south 
of Inverary, to one a little north of Aberdeen, we shall 
find that (with very few exceptions) the invers lie to the 
north-west of the line,^ and the abers to the south-east 
of it^ This line nearly coincides with the present 
southern limit of the Gaelic tongue, and probably also 
with the ancient division between the Picts and the 
Scots. Hence, we may conclude that the Picts, a people 
belonging to the Cymric branch of the Celtic stock, 
and whose language has now ceased to be anywhere 
vernacular, occupied the central and eastern districts 
of Scotland, as far north as the Grampians; while the 
Gadhelic Scots have retained their language, and have 
given their name to the whole country. The local 
names prove, moreover, that in Scotland the Cymry did 
not encroach on the Gael, but the Gael on the Cymry. 
The intrusive names are invers^ which invaded the land 
of the abers. Thus on the shore of the Frith of Forth 
we find a few invers among the abers? The process of 
change is shown by an old charter, in which King David 

1 Inverary, Inverness, Inveraven, Inverury, Inveroran, Inveilochy, Inver- 
cannich, Inverfankaig, Invercaslie, Inverallen, Inverkeithnie, Inveramsay, 
Inverbroom, Invereshie, Invergarry, Invemahavon. 

' Arbroath or Aberbrothwick, Abercom, Aberdeen, Aberdour, Abcr- 
nethy, Abertay, Aberledy, Abergeldie, Abemyte, Aberfeldie, Aberfoyle. 

• E.g. Inveresk, near Edinburgh, Inverkeithing in Fife, Inverbervie in 


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Southern L imit of the Gael^Inver and A ber, 247 

grants the monks of May, " Inverin qui fuit Aberin." 
So Abernethy became Invemethy, although the old 
name is now restored.^ The Welsh word uchely high, 
may also be adduced to prove the Cymric affinities of 
the Picts. This word does not exist in either the Erse 
or the Gaelic languages, and yet it appears in the name . 
of the OCHIL Hills, in Perthshire. In Ayrshire, and 
again in Linlithgow, we find places called OCHIL-TREE ; 
and there is an UCHEL-TRE in Galloway. The suffix in 
this case is undoubtedly the characteristic Cymric word 
tre^ a dwelling.^ Again, the Erse bally^^ a town, occurs 
in 2000 names in Ireland ; and, on the other hand, is 
entirely absent from Wales and Brittany. In Scotland 
this most characteristic test-word is found frequently in 
the inver district, while it never appears among the abers. 
The evidence of these names makes it impossible to 
deny that the Celts of the Scottish lowlands must 
have belonged to the Cymric branch of the Celtic 

The ethnology of the Isle of Man may be very com- 
pletely illustrated by means of local names. The map 
of the island contains about 400 names, of which about 
20 per cent, are English, 21 per cent, are Norwegian, and 
59 per cent, are Celtic. These Celtic names are all of 
the most characteristic Erse type. It would appear that 
npt a single colonist from Wales ever reached the island, 
which, from the mountains of Carnarvon, is seen like a 

^ See Kemble, Saxons in England^ vol. ii. pp. 4, 5 ; Chalmers, Caledonia, 
voL i. p. 480 ; Latham, Ethnology of Brit. Is. pp. 80, 8i. Skene, History 
of the Highlanders, voL i. p. 74, and Diefenbach, Cdtica, i. p. 23, think that 
too much ethnological importance has been attributed to the distinction 
between inver and aber, 

* See p. 228, supra. 

* The root of bally is found in the words zmj//, vallum^ bailey j &c. 


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248 The Celts. 

faint blue cloud upon the water. There are ninety-six 
names beginning with Balluy and the names of more than 
a dozen of the highest mountains have the prefix SlieUy 
answering to the Irish Slievh or Sliabh, The Isle" of 
Man has the Curraghy the Loughs, and the Aliens of 
Ireland faithfully reproduced. It is curious to observe 
that the names which denote places of Christian worship^ 
are all Norwegian ; they are an indication of the late date 
at which Heathenism must have prevailed.* 

^ In the Channel Islands the names of all the towns and villages are 
derived from the names of saints, indicating that before the introduction of 
Christianity these islands were inhabited only by a sparse population of 
fishermen and shepherds. Cf. Latham, Channel /j. p. 311. 

' An account of the heathen superstitions and legends, which still 
linger in the Island, will be found in Train, IsU of Man, voL ii. pp. 
114— 184. 


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Historic Value of Local Natkes. 249 



Contrast between Roman and Saxon civilisation^ as shown by Local Names— 
Roman roads — " Gates''* — Bridges and fords— Celtic bridges -^Deficiency of 
inns — Cold Harbour — Saxon dykes — Roman walls — Saxon forts — **Bury^^ 
— Ancient camps — Chester ^ caster , and caer — Stations of the Roman Legions 
— Frontier districts — Castile — The Mark — Pfyny Devises — Ethnic shire* 
names of England— Intrusive colonization. 

There is a striking contrast between the characteristics 
of Saxon and Roman names. The Saxon civilization 
was domestic, the genius of Rome was imperial ; the 
Saxons colonized, the Romans conquered. Hence, the 
traces of Roman rule which remain upon the map are 
surprisingly few in number. Throughout the whole 
island, we scarcely find a single place of human habi- 
tation denoted by a name which is purely Roman.^ The 
names of our English villages, with few exceptions, are 
Scandinavian or Teutonic ; while the appellations of the 
chief centres of population and of the great natural land- 
marks — ^the rivers and the mountains — are the legacy of 
a still earlier race. 

The character of Roman names is very different. 
Rome, with her eagle eye, could cast a comprehensive 

1 Exceptions are speen, anciently Spinae, pontefract, caerleon, 



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250 Historic Value of Local Natnes. 

glance over a province or an empire, and could plan and 
execute the vast physical enterprises, necessary for its 
subjugation, for its material progress, or for its defence. 
The Romans were essentially a constructive race. We 
still gaze with wonder on the massive fragments of 
their aqueducts, their bridges, their amphitheatres, their 
fortresses, and their walls ; we still find their altars, their 
inscriptions, and their coins. The whole island is inter- 
sected by a network of Roman roads, admirably planned, 
and executed with a constructive skill which is able to 
excite the admiration even of modem engineers. These 
are the true monuments of Roman greatness. 

The Saxons were not road-makers. Vast works 
undertaken with a comprehensive imperial purpose were 
beyond the range of Saxon civilization. The Saxons 
even borrowed their name for a road from the Latin 
language. The Roman strata^ or paved roads, became 
the Saxon streets. This word street often enables us to 
recognise the lines of Roman road which, straight as 
an arrow-course, connect the chief strategic positions in 
the island. 

Thus, from the fortified port of Lymne an almost 
disused road runs across the Kentish Hills to Canter- 
bury, bearing the name of STONE STREET. From the 
fortified port of Richborough the road which is 
called WATLING^ STREET went to Canterbury and 
London, and thence, by STONY STRATFORD (the 
paved Street-ford), to Chester, the "castra" of the 
northern army. RYKNIELD STREET led from Tyne- 
mouth, through York, Derby, and Birmingham, to St 
David's. ICKNIELD STREET led from Norwich to Dor- 

1 Probably from vadla^ a mendicant pilgrim. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

Roman Roads, 25 r 

Chester and Exeter. The ERMIN^ STREET joined 
London and Lincoln. The Roman road by which sick 
men journeyed from London to bathe in the hot springs 
at Bath, went, in Saxon times, by the appropriate name 
of AKEMAN STREET. The Westmoreland mountain called 
HIGH STREET, derives its name from the Roman road 
which crosses it at a height of 2,700 feet.^ 

Even where the Roman roads have become obliterated 
by the plough, we may often trace their direction by 
means of the names of towns, which proclaim the position 
they occupied on the great lines of communication. 
Such are the names of ARDWICK LE STREET in York- 
called STRETFORD or STRATFORD, all of which inform 
us that they were situated on some line of Roman road.^ 
Roman roads which do not bear the name of street 
are often called Portways, There are nine Portways in 
different parts of the kingdom.* The FOSSWAY^ also was 
a Roman road, running from Cornwall to Lincoln. 

In the Scandinavian districts of the island the word 
gate^ is commonly used to express a road or street, as in 

^ Probably from earm, a pauper. See Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings ^ 
vol i p. 51 ; Poste, Britannic Researches^ p. 94 ; Horsley, Brit. Rom, 
p. 388. 

• Ferguson, Northmen in Cumberland^ p. 49. 

' Hartshome, Salopia Antiqua, p. 238 ; Wright, Wanderings^ p. 326. 
^ Hart&horne, Salopia Antiqua^ p. 272. 

' Foss is a Saxon synonym for a dyke. The source seems to be the 
Latin _/&jjfl. 

• The Danish word gaia means a street or road. The Anglo-Saxon geat 
means a gate. The distinction is analogous to that which exists in the case 
of the word ford. See p. 160, supra. The one is a passage along^ the other 
a passage through. The root is seen in the German verb gehen^ and the 
English go. Compare the Sanskrit gati^ and the Zend g&tUy which both 
mean a road. From the same primary meaning of a passage, we obtain 


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252 Historic Value of L ocal Names. 

in the cise of harrowgate. In York, Leeds, Lincoln, 
and other northern towns, the older streets usually bear 
this suffix. In Leeds we find BRIGGATE or Bridge 
Street, and KIRKGATE or Church Street In York this 
suffix was borne by no less than twenty of the streets, as 
in the case of micklegate, walmgate, jubbergate, 

MARYSGATE in Manchester, and COWGATE and CANON- 
GATE in Edinburgh. 

In the South the word gate usually takes the sense of 
the passage through a town wall, as in the case of NEW- 
GATE, BISHOPSGATE, and the other gates of London. In 
the name of HIGHGATE, however, we have the sense of 
a road. 

The passes through lines of hill or cliff are frequently 
denoted by this root. Thus REIGATE is a contraction of 
Ridgegate, the passage through the ridge of the North 
Downs. GATTON, in the same neighbourhood, is the 
town at the passage, caterham and godstone may 
possibly be referred to the same root, as well as GAT- 
COMBE in the Isle of Wight RAMSGATE, MARGATE, 
WESTGATE, KINGSGATE, and SANDGATE, are the passages 
to the shore through the line of Kentish cliffs. In 

gut^ the intestinal passage, and the nautical term gat^ a passage through a 
narrow channel, as the cattegat. A gate is the passage into a field. A 
man's gait is the way he goes ; his gaiters are his goers. Oxktxgates is the 
Sussex provincialism for otherways. See Warton, Seaboard and the Dawn^ 
vol. ii. p. 28. The ghats^ or ghauts, of India are the passages to the river- 
side, and the passes through the western line of hills. See Pictet, Orig. 
Indo-Europ, pt ii. p. 292; Worsaae, Danes and NonuegianSy p. 40; 
Ferguson, Northmen, p. 49 ; Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, p. 63 ; Diefenbach, 
Vergleich, IVorterduch, vol. ii. p. 394; Philolog. Proc, vol. L p. 40; and 
several letters in the Guardian, Dec 1S61. 


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Roads and Bridges, 253 

Romney Marsh gut takes the place of gate^ as in the 

The difficulties of travelling must formerly have inter- 
posed great obstacles in the way of commercial inter- 
course. Local names afford various intimations that the 
art of bridge-building, in which the Romans had ex- 
celled,^ was not retained by the Anglo-Saxons. Thus 
the station on the Tyne, which in Roman times had 
been called Pons JSX\\^ received from the Anglians the 
name GATESHEAD, or, as we may translate it, "road's 
end ; " an indication, it would seem, of the destruction of 
the bridge. At the spot where the Roman road crosses 
the Aire, the name of pontefract (Ad Pontem 
Fractum) reminds us that the broken Roman bridge 
must have remained unrepaired during a period long 
enough for the naturalization of the new name, and the 
name of STRATFORD LE BOW contains internal evidence 
that the dangerous narrow Saxon ford over the Lea was 
not replaced by a " bow," or '* arched bridge," till after 
|:he time of the Norman conquest.^ 

But nothing shows more conclusively the unbridged 
state of the streams than the fact that where the great 
lines of Roman road are intersected by rivers, we so 

^ The importance attached by the Romans to the art of bridge-building 
is indicated by the fact that the chief ecclesiastical functionary bore the 
name of the bridge-builder— -P<?/i/^;c. See Donaldson, Varronianus^ 
p. 270. 

■ The piles on which the Roman bridge rested were discovered in 1771, 
Bruce, Roman Wall, p. 130. There seems to have been another bridge 
built by MWws on the continuation of the Roman road northward. Six 
miles from Newcastle we find the village-name of ponteland, apparently 
from Ad Pontem iEliamrai. Baxter, Gloss, p. 196. There was a Roman 
bridge at paunton, A.d Pontem. Baxter, Glossarium, p. 7, 

• The bridge was built by Matilda, Queen of Henry \ . 


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254 Historic Value of Local Names, 

frequently find important towns bearing the Saxon suffix 
FORD, and CHELMSFORD, considerable streams had to be 
forded. In the kingdom of Essex, within twenty miles 
of London, we find the names ILFORD, ROMFORD, 
We find the same state of things in Kent. The Medway 
had to be forded at AYLESFORD, the Darent at DART- 
FORD and at OTFORD, and the Stour at ASHFORD. 

The great' deficiency of bridges is still more forcibly 
impressed upon us when we remember that while the 
names of so many large towns present the suffix ford, 
there are only a very few which terminate in bridge. 
BRIDGE, CAMBRIDGE,* and a few more, all of which stand 
on small and easily-bridged streams. But in all these 
cases the English form of suffix seems to show the 
comparatively modern date of the erection, and names 
which take a Saxon form, such as BRIXTON, or BRISTOL, 
anciently Bricgstow, are extremely rare. 

It should be noticed that ponty the Welsh word for a 
bridge, is derived from the Latin, probably through the 
monks, who were the great bridge-builders. Nevertheless 
it has been thought that the art of bridge-building was 

1 Hartshome, Salopia Antiqua, pp. 262 — 265. 

> CambonVam, the ancient name of Cambridge, gives us the Celtic root 
rhydf a ford, which we find also in ^^^k/ecina, the British name of OzioTd, 
and in Hert-ior^ (Rhyd-ford), where, probably, we have two synonymous 
elements. The Celtic rhod^ a roadstead, and rkyd^ or red^ a ford, bear 
much the same relation to each other as the Norse Jjord and the Saxon 
ford. See p. 160, supra; Gliick, Kdtischen Namm, p. 25; Addtmg, 
MUhridates, vol. iii. p. 68 ; Diefenbach, CeUUa, L p. 5S. 


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Bridges and Fords. 255 

known at a very early period to the Celtic nations, and Weis 
subsequently lost In the most purely Celtic parts of 
Spain and France, a very lai^e number of the names of 
riverain cities terminate in briga and brivUy which, in the 
opinion of many Celtic scholars, must have meant a 
bridge.i They think it is an ancient Aryan word, older 
than the epoch of the separation of the Teutonic and 
Celtic stems, and which disappeared from the Celtic 
speech at the time when the art of bridge-building was 

The hardships incident to travelling must have been 
much increased by the fewness of houses of entertain- 
ment along the roads. Where no religious house existed 

^ Thus the ancient name of Brivisara has been replaced by the modem 
equivalent, Pontoise. 

' In Spain we have Turobriga, Mirobriga, Mertobriga, Segobriga, Laco- 
briga, Arcobriga, Jnliobriga, and others, thirty-five in all. In Celtic Gaul 
there are Eburobriga, Limnobriga, Amagenbriga, and Brigiosum; and 
Brivate and Durocobrivis in Britain. An allied fonn is bria^ which we 
we find in Mesembria, Selymbria, and Poltyobria, in the Celtic colonies on 
the Euxine. Brescia was in the Celtic part of Italy. The names of 
Bregentz, Braganza, Brian9on, and perhaps of the Brigantes, contain the 
same root. For lists of these names see EHefenbach, Celtica^ ii. pL i. p. 317 ; 
Prichard, Researches, vol. iii. pp. 30, 120. The word brigand mzy not im- 
probably be derived from the name of the Brigantes, who served as 
medbeval mercenaries. See Dufresne, voL L pp. 775 — 778; Diefenbach, 
Orig. Eur. p. 271 ; Celtica, i. p. 17; Diez, Etym. Worterb. s. voc. ; 
Rawlinson, Herodotus, voL iii. p. 220 ; Prichard, Eastern Origin of Celtic 
Nat. p. 120; Humboldt, Prii/ung, pp. 82 — 86, 144; Salverte, Essai sur 
Us NomSy vol. ii. p. 258 ; Radlof, Neue Untersuchungen, pp. 304, 305 ; 
ZeuBS, Grammatica Celtica, vol. i. p. 10 1 ; vol. ii. pp. 758, 772 ; Hume, 
Gtogr. Terms, p. 10; Cambro-Briton, vol. iii. p. 285; De Belloguet, 
Etknoginie, vol. i. pp. 214 — ^217 ; Baxter, Gloss, p. 50. Gluck, as usual, 
laments the sad ignorance displayed by all precedmg writers, except hunself 
and Zeuss, and asserts that the root is the same as that of the German berg, 
the Irish brig, and the Cymric bre, a hill. Kelt. Namen, pp. 126, 130. 
On the whole I am inclined to believe that the words briga and briva are 
unconnected, briga meaning a hill, and btiva a bridge. 


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2S6 Historic Value of Local Natnes. 

to receive the wayfarer, he would usually be compelled 
to content himself with the shelter of bare walls. The 
ruins of deserted Roman villas were no doubt often used 
by travellers who carried their own bedding and pro- 
visions, as is done by the frequenters of the khans and 
dak houses of the East. Such places seem commonly 
to have borne the name of COLD HARBOUR.^ In the 
neighbourhood of ancient lines of road we find no less 
than seventy places bearing this name,* and about a 
dozen more bearing the analogous name of CALDICOT, 
or " cold cot." ^ 

The only great works constructed by the Anglo- 
Saxons were the vast earthen ramparts which served as 
the boundaries between hostile kingdoms. For miles 
and miles the dyke and ditch* of the wansdyke — ^the 
ancient boundary of Wessex — still stretches across the 
bleak downs of Somerset and Wilts. Beginning near 
Portishead) on the Bristol Channel, its runs by Malmes- 
bury and Cirencester, to Bampton in Oxfordshire ; it 
then crosses the Thames, and re-appears at a place 
called KINSEY. This name is a corruption of Kings 

1 Compare the German Herberg^ shelter, and the French auherge. Sec 
Notes and Queries, second series, vol. vi. pp. 143, 317. 

* There are three on Akeman Street, four on Ermin Street, two on 
Icknield Street, two on Watling Street, two on the Portways, and one on 
the Fossway. Hartshome, Salopia Antiqua, pp. 253 — 258, 

* Ilartshorhe, Salopia Antiqua, p. 249. 

* The Anglo-Saxon dU is derived from the root which supplies us with 
the verb to dig, and is used to mean both the mound and the excavation. 
In modem English we call one the dyke and the other the ditch. Probably 
the masculine and feminine of the Anglo-Saxon dU supplied the original 
germ of the distinctive use, Kemble, Cod. Dip, vol iii. p. xxiu ; Leo, 
Anglo-Saxon Nanus , p. 78. The common village name of ditton (dyke< 
ton) may sometimes guide us as to the position of these dykes. Fen Ditton 
and Wood Ditton in Cambridgeshire, stand respectively on the Fleam 
Dyke and the Devil's Dyke. 


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Saxon Dykes — Roman Walls. 257 

Way, and shows that the dyke must have been used as 
a road as well as for purposes of defence.^ OFFALS DYKE, 
which stretched from Chester to the Wye, guarded the 
frontiers of Mercia against the Welsh.* GRIM's DYKE 
near Salisbury, OLD DITCH near Amesbury, and BOKERLY 
DITCH, mark the position of the Welsh and Saxon 
frontier at an earlier period.^ The ditch called the 
PICTS' WORK, reaching from Galashiels to Peel Fell, 
$eems to have been at one time the northern boundary 
of the kingdom of Northumbria. A vast work, variously 
called the RECKEN DYKE, the DEVIL'S DYKE, ST. 
EDMUND'S DYKE, and CNUT's DYKE, served as the 
defence of the kingdom of East Anglia against Mercia ; 
unless, indeed, we suppose, as is not improbable, that it 
was constructed at a time when the Mercian kingdom 
was still British, and the East-Anglian settlement, was 
the sole possession of the Teutons in the island.* 

But these Saxon defences were at the best mere 
earthworks, and are not to be compared, in a con- 
structive point of view, with the two Roman walls which 
stretched across the island from sea to sea. The Wall 
of Hadrian, or of Severus, as it is called, ran from New- 
castle to Carlisle, and is still in wonderful preservation. 
But even if the massive masonry and huge earthen 
rampart of this wall had perished, it would be easy to 
trace its direction by means of the continuous series of 

1 Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, p. xiv. 

• Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. i p. 231 ; Hartshome, Salopia. 
Antiqua, pp. 181 — 193. 

» Guest, in Proceedings of Archeeol. Instil, for 1849, p. 28. 

* Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. i. p. 242, The Mercian king- 
dom was founded 140 years after that of Kent, and the East-Anglian 
settlement was, no doubt, much earlier than that in Kent Thrupp, Anglo- 
Saxon Home^ p. 7. 


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258 Historic Value of Local Nantes. 

memorial names which are furnished by the villages and 
farm-houses along its course. It b^an at WALLSEND, 
now famous as the place where the best Newcastle coals 
are shipped. We then c5me in succession to places 
called Benwrf/, WWbottle, Heddon-on-the- Wall, Welton, 
Wallhouses, Wall, Walwick Chesters, Wallshmls, Wall- 
town, Thirlwa//, 'Rirdoswald, WallhovLts, Walton, Old- 
wall, WalDanoW, Wallmill, and Wallhy, with Wallend, 
Wallfoot, and W^<i//head at the western end. The wall 
was, moreover, protected by fortified posts at regular 
intervals. The sites of these fortresses go by the 

The northern wall, or Wall of Antoninus, extended 
from the Forth to the Clyde, and goes by the name 

of grime's dyke.* DUMBARTON, DUMBUCK Hilt, and 
DUNGLAS were probably fortified stations along its course. 
Fortified camps, whether of British, Roman, Saxon, 
or Danish construction, are very commonly marked by 
the suffix iuty. To enumerate any considerable portion 
of these names would far exceed our limits ; but merely 
to show how this suffix may guide the antiquarian in his 
researches, it may suffice to exhibit the results obtained 
from a single county. In Wiltshire alone there are, or 
were in Camden's time, military earthworks in existence 
at places called Chisbury, Boadbury, Abury, Yanesbuiy, 
Ambresbuiy, Selbury, Sidbury, Badbury, Wanborough, 
Burywood,Barbury,01dbury, Rybury, Westbury,Battles- 

1 Brace, 7%€ Rofnan Wall^ passim. 

* There is also a Grimesditch in Cheshire, and there are four other 
earthworks bearing the same name^ slightly altered. Chalmers, Caledonia^ 
vol. i. p. 1 19. 


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Ancient Camps. 259 

bury, Avesbury, Heytesbury, Scratchbury, Waldsbury, 
Bilbury, Winklebury, Chiselbury, Clerebury, Whichbury, 
Frippsbury, and Ogbury or Okebury. At Malmesbury, 
Salisbury, Heytesbury, Ramesbury, Titsbury, and* Marl- 
borough, the sites of British or Saxon earthworks seem 
to have been used for the erection of Norman castles. 

A competent etymological investigation of the first 
syllable in these names might probably yield results not 
destitute of value. 

The Roman stations throughout the island may very 
frequently be recognised by the fact that their modern 
names contain a modification of the Latin word castra} 
These modifications are very curious, as exhibiting the 
dialectic tendencies in different portions of the island.^ 
Throughout the kingdoms of Essex, Sussex, Wessex, and 
other purely Saxon districts, the form Chester is universal. 
Here we have the names of Colchester, Godmanchester, 
Grantchester, Chesterford, Irchester, Rochester, Win- 
chester, Ilchester, Chichester, Silchester, Porchester, and 
two Dorchesters. But as we pass from the Saxon to the 
Anglian kingdoms, we find Chester replaced by caster. 
The distinctive usage of these two forms is very notice- 
able, and is of great ethnological value. In one place 
the line of demarcation is so sharply defined that it can 
be traced within two hundred yards. Northamptonshire, 

1 One syllable of names containing ckester, caster, or caer, is almost 
alwa3rs Celtic, and seems to have been a Latinization of the enchorial 
name. In ^m Chester the first syllable is the Latin venta, a word which 
was constructed from the Celtic gwent, a plain. ^i;nchester contains a 
portion of the Latinized name Binovimn. In Z^^rchester and jSjreter we 
have the Celtic words dtur and uisge, water ; in Manchester we have man^ 
a district See pp. 231, 20G^ 203, 130, supra. 

* See Robertson, Earfy Kings, vol. ii. p. 240 ; Latham, Opuscula, p. 
153 ; Wright, Wanderings, p. 208 ; Hartshome, Saiopia Antiqua, pp. 
I58» 199. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

26o Historic Value of Local Names. 

which is decisively Danish, is divided by the Nen from 
Huntingdonshire, which is purely Saxon. On the Saxon 
side of the river we find the village of CHESTERTON, 
confronted on the other side by the town of CASTOR, the 
two names recording, in two different dialects, the fact 
that the bridge was guarded by the Roman station of 
Durobrivae.i Throughout the Anglian and Danish dis- 
tricts we find this form caster, as in Tadcaster, Brancaster, 
Ancaster, Doncaster, Lancaster, Casterton, Alcaster, 
Caster, and Caistor. As we pass from East Anglia 
to Mercia, which, though mainly Anglian, was subject 
to a certain amount of Saxon influence, we find cester^ 
which is intermediate in form between the Anglian 
caster and the Saxon cftester. The e is retained, but the 
h is omitted ; and there is a strong tendency to further 
elision, as in the case of Leicester, pronounced Le ster ; 
Bicester, pronounced Bi'ster ; Worcester, pronounced 
Wor*ster; Gloucester, pronounced Glos'ter, and Ciren- 
cester, pronounced S*isester or Si's'ter. The same ten- 
dency is seen in the cases of Alcester, Mancester, and 
Towcester. It is still more noteworthy that beyond the 
Tees, where the Danish and Mercian influence ceases, 
and where almost all the local names resume the pure 
Saxon type,2 we find that the southern form cluster re- 
appears ; and we have the names Lanchester, Binchester, 
Chester-le-Street, Ebchester, Ribchester, Rowchester, 
Fichester, Chesterknows, Chesterlee, Chesterholm, Rut- 
chester, and a few others on the Wall. 

1 See a paper by Latham On the Traces of a Bilingual Town in England^ 
read before the British Association in 1853; Latham, Opitscula^ p. 151; 
English Language^ vol. i. p. 434 ; Ansted and Latham, Channel Is. p. 335 ; 
Smith, Dictionary of Geogr. s. v. Durobrivae ; Gough's Camden, voL ii, p. 
a86. Durobrivae means water-bridge. See p. 255, supra, 

■ See p. 169, supra. 


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Cluster y Caster^ and Caer, 56 1 

Towards the Welsh frontier the c or ch becomes an x, 
and the tendency to elision is very strong. We have 
Uttoxeter, pronounced Ux*ter; Wroxeter, and Exeter, 
which in Camden's time was written Excesten 

These names on the Welsh frontier exhibit a gradual 
approximation to the form which we find in the parts 
where the Celtic speech survived. Here the / also dis- 
appears, and we find the prefix caer in the names of 
Caerleon, Caergai, Caergwyle, Caersws, Caerwent, Caer- 
philly, Caerwis, and the still more abbreviated forms of 
Carstairs, Carluke, and Carriden in Scotland, Carhayes 
in Cornwall, Carmarthen, Cardigan, Cardiff, and Car- 
narvon in Wales, Carhallock, Carlisle, and Carvoran^ in 
England, Carlow and Cardross in Ireland. With these 
forms we may compare Caerphili and Caerven in Brit- 
tany, Cherbourg in the Celtic peninsula of Cornuaille, 
and Carsoli, Carosio, Carmiano, Carovigno, and Cortona, 
in the Celtic part of Italy.* 

^ Great Chesters, on the Wall, is an exact reproduction of the Celtic name 
Carvoran, from which it is only three miles distant. As in the case of 
Chesterton and Castor, we have here an indication of the close geographical 
proximity in which different races must have lived. See Wright, Essays^ 
vol. i. p. 103. 

* Chester and caster are, undoubtedly, from the Latin casira. Compare 
the Anglo-Saxon word ceaster, Kemble, Codex Diplom, vol. iii p. xx. 
But there is considerable doubt whether caer is a modification of castra, or 
an independent Celtic root. We have the British and Cornish caeff the 
Armorican ker^ and the Irish cathair and raVV, a fortress, and the Welsh 
cae^ an inclosure, and cor^ a close. See Owen's JVelsh Dictionary; 
Diefenbach, Celiica, i. p. 107 ; Davies in Philolog, Trans, for 1857, p. 43; 
Williams, Essays, pp. 79, 80 ; Wright, Essays, vol. i. p. 103 ; Mone, Celt, 
Forsch. p. aoo; De Belloguet, Etknog, vol. i. p. 2io; Guest in Philolog, 
Proceai,yo\. v. p. 187 ; Canibro-Britcn, vol. ii. p. 409. Compare the Hebrew 
and Phoenician word Kartha^ which is seen in the names of A'/rjath, 
Ker\oihj Kir, and Cnzrthage, and is identical in meaning with the Celtic 
caer, \Vilton, Negeb, p. 103. If there is no affiliation, this is a very 
remarkable coincidence of sound and meaning. 


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262 Historic Value of Local Names. 

The Latin word colonia is found in the names of LIN- 
COLN and COLOGNE,^ and perhaps also in those of 
COLCHESTER and the two rivers called the COLNE, one 
of which rises near the site of the colonia of Verulamium, 
and the other flows past Colchester. In the immediate 
vicinity of Colchester a legion was stationed for the pro- 
tection of the colony. The precise spot which was occu- 
pied by the camp of this legion is indicated by the 
remains of extensive Roman earthworks at LEXDON, a 
name which is a corruption of Legionis Dunum? The 
Second Legion — Legio Augusta — ^was stationed on the 
river Usk, or Isca, at a place called, in the Roman time, 
Isca Legionis. The process by ^ which the modem name 
of CAERLEON has been evolved, is indicated in the work 
which bears the name of Nennius : " bellum gestum est in 
urbe Leogis, quae Brittanice Cair Lion dicitur." * Another 
legion we And at LEICESTER (Legionis castra). 

The station of the seventh legion was in Spain, at 
LEON (Legio), that of the Claudian legion at KLOTEN in 
Switzerland.* Megiddo in Palestine, where another 
legion was quartered, now goes by the name of LEDjt^N, 
or LEJJUN.* (Legio, or Castra L^ionis.) 

The numerous " peels " along the border are an evi- 
dence of the insecurity arising from border warfare in 
times when every man's house was, in a literal sense, his 
castle also.* 

^ See Mahn, Ueher die Namen Berlin undKbln^ p. 2. Compare the 
of kul6nia in Palestine. Robinson, Later Researches^ p. 158. 

* Baxter, Glossanum, p. 64 ; Cough's Camden, vol. ii. p. 138. 
« Nennius, a 56. 

4 Meyer, Ortsnamm, p. 70. 

* Robinson, Biblical Researches^ voL iii. pp. 177 — 180 ; Later Researcher^ 
p. 118 ; Stanley, JcTvish Churth^ p. 322. 

* Peel is from the Celtic /ft^/, a castle. Dairies in Philolog. Proc. voL vi. 
p. 131. 


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. Stations of Roman Legions. 263 

The hill where the border clan of the Maxwells used 
to assemble previous to their dreaded forays bears the 
appropriate name of the wardlaw (guard hill). A 
reference to this trysting place is contained in the war- 
cry of the clan, " I bid you bide Wardlaw." 

A similar state of society is indicated by the name of 
CASTILE, as well as by the castle which appears on the 
armorial bearings of that kingdom. The name and the 
device date from the times of continuous border warfare, 
when the central portion of the peninsula was, mile by 
mile, being wrested from the Moors, and secured by an 
ever advancing line of frontier castles.^ 

At a later period, when the unbelievers had been finally 
expelled from Northern and Central Spain, the debate- 
able ground was the province which now goes by the 
name of MURCIA. This word means the district of the 
^ march " or margiTL^ the dtfnarc2L\xon between two alien 
races. To make a tPtark is to draw a boundary. Letters 
of marque are letters which contain a licence to harass the 
enemy beyond the frontier. A Margrave, Mark-graf, 
Earl of March, or Marquess was the warden of the 
Marches, who held his fief by the tenure of defending 
the frontier against all aggression, and this important 
office gave him rank next to the Duke or Dux, the 
leader of the forces of the shire. The root is found in 
all the Indo-Germanic languages, and is probably to be 
referred to the Sanskrit marydy a boundary, which is a 
derivative of the verb smriy to remember. We may, 
compare the Latin margo^ and the Persian marg^ a fron- 
tier. The uncleared forest served as the boundary of the 

^ The same fiict is expressed bj the Arabic name for CwiXJUi^^Ardhu-i- 
kiia^ the land of castles. Gayangoe, Dynasties^ vol l p. 316 ; Pzescottf 
Ferdinand and Isabella^ voL i. p. 28. 


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i64 Historic Value of Local Nantes, 

gau of the Teutonic settlers. Hence the Scandinavian 
morky a forest, and the English word murky, which ori- 
ginally denoted the gloom of the primaeval forest. The 
chase took place in the forest which bounded the in- 
habited district, hence the Sanskrit mrga, chase, hunting. 
A huntsman being nearly synonymous w'th a horseman, 
we have the Celtic marc} a horse, which hcis found its 
way into the English verb, to march, and the French 
word markliah a groom or farrier. The Earl Marshal 
was originally the " grand farrier," or " master of the 
horse" — ^a great officer of state, like the grand fal-- 

The Scotch and the Welsh marches, for many cen- 
turies, occupy- an important place in English history as 
the border-lands between England, and her ancient 
enemies in Scotland and Wales. The Anglo-Saxon 
kingdom of MERCIA was the frontier province between 
the East Angles and the Welsh. On the frontier line 
we find MARBROOK and MARCHOMLEY in Shropshire, 
MARBURY in Cheshire, and MARKLEY in Herefordshire.^ 
On the frontier between the Celts of Cornwall and the 

^ Gaelic and Erse, marc; Welsh, Comish, and Brezonec mar^ch, Cofin- 
pare the Anglo-Saxon mmr, a horse, whei^ce the English mare, Acoording 
to Ammianos Marcellinus, the war-cry of the Sarmatians was — Marha, 
Marha, ''to horse, to hoise." Diefenbach, Orig. Europ, p. 90. 

' On the word mark see Diefenbach, Cdtka, i. p. 67 ; Origines Europe 
p. 429 ; VergUichendes Worterbtichy voL ii. pp. 50 — ^53 ; Leo, VorUsungat, 
voL i. p. 144; Zeuss, Die Deutscken, p. 114; Diez, Etymolog. IVorterincA, 
pp. 217, 682 ; Pictet, Orig, Jndo-Europ, part ii. p. 408 ; Miiller, Marktn 
des Vaterlandes^ pp. 216, 217 ; Verstegan, Restitution^ pp, 171, 172 ; Kem- 
ble. Codex Diplom, vol. iii. p. xi. ; Blackstone, Commentaries^ book L 
c. 7, § 4 ; Gamett, Essays^ p. 16 ; Pott, Etymologische Forschungen, voL ii 
p. 1 16. 

* There are fifteen English parishes called Marston, i,e. Markstone or 
boundary stone, one of which gives a name to the well-known battlefield of 
Marston Moor. 


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The Mark. 265 

Saxons of Devon, stands the village of MARHAM. We 
have seen that the valleys of the Frome and Avon re- 
mained Celtic long after the surrounding country had 
been occupied by the Saxons. Some three or four 
miles to the south-west of Bath stands the village of 
MERKBURY, the " fortress of the march " or boundary of 
the Welsh district. The names of the adjoining villages 
of ENGLISHCOMBE ^ and ENGLISH BATCH seem to mark 
outlying portions of the English territory.^ The town 
of MARCH in Cambridgeshire is close to the sharply 
defined frontier line of the Scandinavian kingdom,^ and 
on the frontier of the little outlying Danish colony in 
Essex we find a place called COMARQUES. 

Throughout Europe we find this word march or mark 
entering into the names of outlying or frontier provinces. 
The MARCOMANNI of Tacitus were the marchmen of the 
Sclavonic frontier of Germany.* The names of the 
NEUMARK, which collectively constitute the MARK of 
Brandenburg, show the successive encroachments of the 
Germans on the Poles ; Altmark, or the " Old Mark," 
being the farthest to the west, while Neumark, the "New 
Mark," is the farthest to the east DENMARK was the 

1 The name of Englishcombe is found in Domesday. 
■ Guest, in Archceolog, Journal^ vol. xvi pp. 11 1, 112. 

• See p. 167, supra, 

* Latham, Germania, prolegomena, pp. liii. — Ivi. ; Latham in PhUolog. 
JProceedings, vol. iv. p. 190. Grimm thinks that the Marcomanni were the 
men of the forest, rather than the men of the frontier. Gesck. d. DeuL 
Spr, p. 503. 

B The name of the Ukermark contains two synonymous elements — 
Ukraine being a Sclavonic word, meaning a frontier. The Ukraine 
on the Dnieper was the southern frontier of the ancient kingdom of 
Poland. See Latham, Nationalitia of Europe^ vol. i. pp. 5 and 376 ; vol 
iL p. 358. 


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266 Historic Value of Local Names, 

Danish frontier, finmark, and four provinces called 
LAPPMARK, show the five successive stages by which 
the Scandinavian invaders encroached upon the territory 
of the Fins and Lapps. MORAVIA takes its name from 
the March, or Mor-ava, a bordering river.^ steyer- 
MARK, or Styria, as we Anglicize the word, formed the 
south-eastern frontier between the Germans, and the 
Hungarians and Croats. Here we find the border town 
of MARCHBURG. The boundary of the Saxon colony 
in Westphalia is shown by the district called march, 
and there is a place called MARBACH on the frontier 
of the Swabian settlement in Wurtemberg. On the 
frontiers of the Saxon colony in Picardy we find the 
Rivers MARBECQ and MORBECQUE, a dike called the 
MARDICK, and the village of MARCK. In the Vo^esi, on 
the frontier of the Alemannic population of Alsace, we 
find the town of LA MARCHE. One of the old provinces 
of France, called MARCHE, was the frontier between the 
Franks and the Euskarians of Aquitaine. The March 
of Ancona, and the other Roman Marches which have 
been recently annexed to the kingdom of Italy, together 
with the Marquisate of Tuscany, formed the southern 
boundaries of the Carlovingian empire. The Marquisate 
of Flanders * was erected at a later period as a barrier 
against the Danes. In fact, all the original Marquisates, 
those of Milan, Verona, Carniola, Istria, Moravia, Cambe, 
Provence, Susa, Montserrat, and many others, will be 
found to have been marks or frontier territories. 
Two names survive which mark boundaries of the 

1 Grimm, Gach, d, Deut, Spr, p. 505. The suf&x ava is the Old High 
Gennan aha, a river. 
> On the frontier of the Marquisate of Flanders are two towns called 



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Names of Frontiers. 267 

Roman empire. The name of the Fiume Delia fine, 
near Leghorn, is a corruption of the ancient name, Ad 
Fines. This river, about the year 250 B.C, formed the 
extreme northern limit of the Latin confederacy.^ The 
Canton Valais in Switzerland is curiously divided between 
a German and a French-speaking population. The 
Romans left the upper end of the valley to the bar- 
barous mountaineers, and their descendants now speak 
German. The lower part, which was included within 
the Roman rule, is now French in language. The line 
of linguistic demarcation is sharply drawn in the neigh- 
bourhood of Leuk. Here we find a village which is 
called PFYN, a name which marks the fineSy the confines 
both of the Roman rule, and of the language of the 

A somewhat similar name is found in England, de- 
vizes is a barbarous Anglicization of the Low Latin 
Divisa^ which denoted the point where the road from 
London to Bath passed into the Celtic district.^ Even 
so late as the time of Clarendon, the name had hardly 
become a proper name, being called The Devizes, in the 
same way that Bath was called The Bath in the time of 

The former state of our island, divided between hostile 
peoples — Saxon, Celt, and Dane — ^is indicated not only 
by such names as Mercia and March, but by those of 
several of our English counties.* Cumberland is the 
land of the Cymry. CORNWALL, or Corn-wales, is the 
kingdom of the Welsh of the Horn. DEVON is the land 

1 Mommsen, Hist. Rome, toL i. p. 441. 

« Gttest, in Archaolog, youmaly vol. iivi. p. 1 16. 

* See Saturday Review, Aug. 22, 1863. 

« See Grimm, Gesch. d. Deut. Spr, p. 658. 


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268 Historic Value of Local Names, 

of the Damnonii, a Celtic tribe; KENT that of the 
Cantii ; WORCESTERSHIRE that of the Huicii. SUSSEX, 
ESSEX, WESSEX, and MIDDLESEX, were the kingdoms of 
the southern, eastern, western, and central Saxons. In 
Robert of Gloucester, the name of SURREY appears in 
the form of Sothe-reye, or the south realm.^ NORFOLK 
and SUFFOLK were the northern and southern divisions 
of the East- Anglian folk. The position on the map of 
what we call NORTHUMBERLAND — ^the land north of the 
H umber — proves that it was by aggression from the 
south that the Northumbrian kingdom, which once 
stretched northward from the Humber, was reduced to 
the restricted limits of the modern county. HEREFORD, 
the " ford of the army," was an important strategic point 
in the Marches of Wales, being one of the few places 
where an Anglo-Saxon army could cross the Severn to 
harry the Welsh borders. 

These county names may serve to remind us of the 
discordant fragments that have at length been welded 
into a national unity, while numerous village-names, 
from how wide an area those bands of adventurers were 
collected who made their swords the title-deeds to por- 
tions of our English soil. 

^ On the fonns in which this name appears, see Guest, On GfntiUNameSy 
in Philolog. Proceedings^ vol. i. p. ill. 

* We have Frankby in Cheshire, four Franktons in Salop, and one in 
Warwick, Frankley in Worcester, and Frankham in Dorset 

> We find a Friesthorpe in Lincolnshire, two Frisbys in Leicestershire, 
Frieston in Lincolnshire and Sussex, and two in Suffolk, Frystone in York- 
shire, Friesden in Bucks, and Frisdon in Wilts. 

4 We have Finsthwaite in Lancashire, Fineston in Lincolnshire, Finsham 
in Norfolk, Finstock in Oxon, 


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Ethnic Shire-names of England. 269 

At the close of the period of Roman occupation, the 
Barbarian auxiliaries must have formed a not incon- 
siderable element in the population of Britain. From 
the *' Notitia Imperii," and from inscriptions, we learn 
that there were legions recruited from Moors, Indians,^ 
Cilicians, Dacians, Thracians,* Dalmatians,* Sarmatians, 
Tungrians, Batavians, and from sundry tribes of Gaul, 
Spain, and Germany, which were located in various parts 
of Britain.* Local names preserve a few traces of these 
military colonies. The names of QUAT and QUATFORD,* 
near Bridgenorth, in Salop, have been thought to bear 
witness to a settlement of Quadi ; and TONG,® in York- 
shire, of the Tungrians. The ancient name of HUNNUM 
on the Wall, and the modern one of HUNSTANTON, in 
Norfolk, may possibly be due to the Huns. There is 
only one name of this class, however, which can be re- 
ferred to with any confidence. We are informed by 
Zosimus that large bodies of Vandal auxiliaries were 
settled in Britain by the Emperor Probus, and Gervase 
of Tilbury informs us that Vandalsburg in Cambridge- 
shire was a fortification raised by them. Vandalsburg 
is undoubtedly to be identified with the huge earthwork 
called WANDLESBURY, which occupies the summit of 
the Gogmagog Hills. WENDLEBURY, near Bicester, in 
Oxfordshire ; WINDLESHAM, near Woking, in Surrey ; 

1 At Cirencester. 

* In Yorkshire, Shropshire, at Cirencester, and on the Wall. 

* In Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and on the Wall. 

-* See Wright, "On the Ethnology of South Britain at the extinction of 
the Roman Government," Essays^ vol. i. pp. 70, 71 ; Poste, Britannic 
Researches^ pp. 99, 100; Latham, EthnoL Brit Is, pp. 99 — loi ; Edinb, 
Review, vol xciv. p. 187; Horsley, Brit, Rom, pp. 88—97, ^^^> B"ice, 
Roman Wall, p. 60, 

• More probably from the Celtic coed, a wood. 

• More probably Norse. 


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270. Historic Value of Local Names. 

WINDLEDEN and WENDEL Hill, in Yorkshire; and 
WINDLE, in Lancashire, may, some of them, be Vandal 

Henry of Huntingdon informs us that the Picts, during 
one of their incursions, advanced as far as Stamford, 
where they suffered a bloody repulse. The remnant of 
this invading host may with some probability be traced 
at PITCHLEY in Northamptonshire, a place which, in 
Domesday, is called Picts-lei and Pihtes-lea, the laga or 
settlement of the Picts or Pehtas.* 

Beyond the confines of England we find numerous 
names which denote intrusive colonization, or the settle- 
ment of the remains of defeated armies. One of the 
most curious of these is SCYTHOPOLIS, a strong natural 
rock-fortress in Eastern Palestine, the name of which is 
probably a record of the Scythian invasion in the reign 
of Josiah, which is recorded by Herodotus.* 

The names of SERVIANIKA and CRAVATTA, show that 
Servians and Croats penetrated into the Morea. In 
Westphalia we find the adjacent villages of FRANKEN- 
FELD and SASSENBERG,* and in Hesse Cassel franken- 

1 See Kennett, Parochial AntiquiiieSy vol. i. p. l8 ; Palgrave, Engiisk 
Comtnotvwealthy vol. i. p. 355 ; Gotigh*s Camden, vol. I p. cxxxix. and vd. 
\\. p. 213. 

' See Poste, Brii. Researches^ p. 47. The pronunciation of this name^ 
Peitphley, strongly favours the etymology suggested in the text. Compare 
also the phrases Sexena-laga, the seat or district of the Saxons, and XHsut- 
lagh, that of the Danes. 

> Herodotus, i. c 105 ; Zephaniah iL 5, 6 ; see Stanley, Jewish Cimrth, 
p. 338 ; Sinai and Pal, p. 340 ; Bergmann, Les Gites^ p. 26 ; Robinaoo, 
Biblical Raearches^ vol. iil p. 175 ; Later Researches, p. 330 ; Brace, Ra£a 
of the Old IVorld, pp. 60, 6k. It is possible that there may be truth in the 
tradition which asserts that the Frank Mountain, in the same neighbour- 
hood, was a refuge of the Crusaders. See Stanley, Sinai and Pnl, p. 163 ; 
Robinson, Bibl, Researches, voL ii. p. 171. 

* Massmann, in Dorow's Denkmdler, vol. i. p. 199. 


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Intrusive Colonisation^ 271 

BERG and SASSENBERG stand face to face.^ In the 
Rhineland, FRANKFURT and FRANKENTHAL* are settle- 
ments of the Franks, just as katzellenbogen ' and 
SACHSENHAUSEN are of the Saxons, flamandville 
and SASSETOT in Normandy, and sueveghem in 
Flanders, are among the nujnerous names of the kind 
which might easily be collected.* The WESTMANN ISLES, 
opposite Hjorleifs Head on the coast of Iceland were 
the refuge of some westmen, or Irish slaves, who slew 
their master, Hjorleif, and then fled for their lives.* We 
must, I fear, give up the curious tradition which derives 
the name of Canton schwytz from a Swedish colony 
which settled there at some remote period.* 

I Vilmar, Orttnam^n, p. 243. 

> The ancient forms of these two names show that they are derived from 
the nationality of the inhabitants, and not, as is usually supposed, from the 
possession of certain fmnchises. Zeuss, Herkunfi dar Baiem^ p. $& 

' See, however, Dixon, Surnames^ p. 41. 

4 Many instances have been collected by Zeuss and Forstemann. See 
DU DaUschen^ pp. 608, 635, &c. ; Die Deuttchen Ortsnamen, p. 170. 

' Baring-Gould, Iceland^ p. 2. 

' The Haslithalers affirm that they are Swedes. Hassle is a common 
local name in Sweden. See Geijer, De Colonia Svecorum in Hdvetiam 
dedmctOj quoted extensively by Strinnholm, Wikingmge^ pp. 190—199. 


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272 The Street Names of London. 



71ie walls of Old London — Gradual extension of the town — Absorption of 
surrounding villages — The Brooks ; the Holbomf the Tyhum, and the 
IVestdourne — WellSy conduits, ferries — Monastic establishments of London 
— Localities of certain trades — Sports and pastimes — Sites of residences of 
historic families preserved in the names of streets — The Palaces of the 
Strand— Elizabethan London — Streets dating from the Restoration, 

The history of many cities has been deciphered from 
inscriptions, and so the history of Old London may, 
much of it, be deciphered from the inscriptions which 
we find written up at the comers of its streets. These 
familiar names, which catch the eye as we pace the pave- 
ment, perpetually remind us of the London of bygone 
centuries, and recall the stages by which the long un- 
lovely avenues of street have replaced the elms and 
hedgerows, and have spread over miles of pleasant fields, 
till scores of outlying villages have been absorbed into 
a " boundless contiguity " of brick and mortar. 

By the aid of the street names of London let us then 
endeavour to reconstruct the history of London, and, in 
the first place, let us take these names as our guide-book 
in making the circuit of the old City Walls. The ancient 
wall started from the Norman fortress on TOWER HILL, 
and ran to ALDGATE — ^the " Old Gate." Between ald- 
GATE and BISHOPSGATE the wall was protected by an 


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The Walls of London. 273 

open ditch, two hundred feet broad,^ whose name, 
HOUNDSDITCH, sufficiently indicates the unsavoury na- 
ture of its contents. CAMOMILE STREET and WORM- 
WOOD STREET remind us of the desolate strip of waste 
ground which lay immediately within the wall, and of 
the hardy herbs which covered it, or strove to force their 
rootlets between the stones of the grey rampart In 
continuation of the street called Houndsditch, we find a 
street called LONDON WALL. Here no ditch seems to 
have been needed, for the names of FINSBURY, MOOR- 
down the memory of the great Fen or Moor — ^an "arrant 
fen," as Pennant quaintly calls it — ^which protected the 
northern side of London. 

On this moor, just outside the wall, was the ARTILLERY 
GROUND,^ where the bowmen were wont to assemble to 
display their skill. 

Where the fen terminated the wall needed more pro- 
tection, and here accordingly we find the site of the 
BARBICAN,* one of the gateway towers, which seems 

* Pennant, London, p. 234. 

« Hard by we find artillery street, where the Bowyers and Fletchers 
fabricated longbows and cloth yard shafts. The word artillery, in old 
EngUsh, denotes bows and arrows, and it retained this meaning till the 
seventeenth century, for we find the word used in this sense in i Sam. xx. 
where our version reads, ** And Jonathan gave his artillery unto his lad, 
and said unto him, Go, carry them to the city." 

* The whole tribe of modem Londonologists have followed Stow in 
deriving the word barbican from the Saxon bur^ kenning, or "town 
-watching'* tower. A barbican was, strictly, a projecting turret over a 
gateway. The true etymology of the word is undoubtedly that given by 
Camden (vol. il p. 85), from the Persian bdla khaneh, an upper chamber, 
whence also we derive the word balcony. We find this form in the case of 
BALCON LANE, which was parallel to, and just outside, the town wall of 
Colchester. See Wedgwood, Eng. Etym, vol. i. p. 97 ; and Wedgwood in 
Phil, Proc. vol. iii. p. 156. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

274 The Street Names ofLofidon. 

to have guarded ALDERSGATE, the chief entrance from 
the north. Considerable remains of the wall are still 
visible in CASTLE STREET, as well as in the churchyard 
of St. Giles', CRIPPLEGATE.^ Passing by NEWGATE we 
come to the OLD BAILEY, a name which is derived from 
the ballium or vallum^ an open space between the ad- 
vanced gate of the city and the line of the outer wall.*^ 

The wall now turned southward, and ran along the 
crest of LUDGATE HILL, its western face being protected 
by the FLEET, a small stream which flowed through the 
ditch of the city wall, which was here called the FLEET 
DITCH. The river Fleet also gave its name to the street 
which crossed it at right angles, and entered the city by 
Fleetgate, Floodgate, or LUDGATE.** 

At the angle formed by the wall and the Thames 
stood a Norman fortress erected at the same time with 
the Tower of London.* A wharf which occupies the 

1 The wall gives its name lo the parish of Allhallows-in-the-Wall, as well 
as to that of Cripplegate. 

s In a similar position with respect to the city wall, we find the Old Bayle 
at York, the church of St Peter in the Bailey at Oxford, and Bailey Hill at 
Sheffield and Radnor. A bailiff vrvci originally the Bayle-reeve, or officer in 
charge of the Ballium ; just as the sheriff is the shire-reeve. A bail is 
etymologically a palisade. Thus the bails at cricket were originally the 
stumps, the present restricted meaning of the word being of later origin. 
See Knapp, English Roots^ p. 79—81 ; Timbs, Curiosities of London^ p. 556 ; 
Wedgwood, DicL of Ettg. Eiym, voL L p. 96 ; Ilartshome, Sahpia Anti^Ma, 
p. 241 : Diez, Efym» Wbrterbuch^ p. 37 ; Whitaker, Hist, of Manchester^ 
vol. ii. p. 244. 

> The words flood, fleet, and float, come from the Anglo-Saxon veib 
fleotan, to float or swim. A fleet is either that which is afloat, or a place 
where vessels can float — ^that is, a channel, or where water fleets or runs. 
Hence the names kbbfleet, northfxekt, southflikt, purflset, 
and PORTFLEET. The word vley^ which the boers of the Cape use for the 
smaller rivers, is the same word fleet (Dutch, vliet,) in a somewhat dis- 
guised form. Kemble, Cod, Dip. vol. iii. p. xxv. See p. 187, supra, 

4 See Thierry, Norman Conquest, p. 76; Cunningham, Handbook for 
London, p. 65. 


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Extent of Old L ondon, 275 

site, as well as one of the city wards, still retain the 
name of castle BAYNARD, although every vestige of 
the fortress has long disappeared. DOWGATE^ and 
BILLINGSGATE were two of the passages through that 
part of the wall which protected the city from assailants 
coming from the riverside.* 

The small space within the walls of Old London was 
almost exactly of the same shape and the same area as 
Hyde Park. In fact, as the last syllable of its name 
indicates, LONDON was originally a dun or Celtic hill- 
fortress, formed by Tower Hill, Cornhill, and Ludgate 
Hill, and effectually protected by the Thames on the 
south, the Fleet on the west, the great fen of Moorfields 
and Finsbury on the north, and by the Houndsditch and 
the Tower on the east.^ 

For a long period London was confined within the limit 
of its walls. In the reign of Edward I. CHARING was 
a country village lying midway between the two cities 
of London and Westminster, and ST. martin's-IN-THE- 
FIELDS long* continued to be the village church. Along 
the strand of the river hardly a house had been built 
in the time of Edward III., and no continuous street 
existed till the reign of Elizabeth. Even then, to the 
north of this straggling line of houses, the open country 
extended from LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS to the village 
church of ST. GILES' IN THE FIELDS. James I. ordered 
the justices to commit to prison any person presuming 

1 Possibly the Dourgate or water-gate. Cough's Camden, vol. iL 
p. 80. 

» Pauli, Pictures of Old England f p. 416. 

' The natural advantages of the site have been well brought out bjr 
Dean Stanley in his admirable lecture on 77ie Study of Modem History ^ 
PP- 352—355- 

'^ ^ Digitized by Google 

276 The Street Names of London. 

to build in this open space.^ LONG ACRE, formerly a 
field called " The Elms," or *' The Seven Acres," * was 
not built upon till the reign of Charles I. And scarcely 
a century ago a man with a telescope used to station 
himself in LEICESTER FIELDS — now Leicester Square — 
and offer to the passers-by, at the charge of one half- 
penny, a peep at the heads of the Scotch rebels which 
garnished the spikes on Temple Bar.* 

If, two or three centuries ago, what now forms the 
heart of London was unbuilt upon, it was at a still more 
recent period that Kensington, Brompton, Paddington, 
Dalston, Stoke Newington, and Islington, remained de- 
tached country villages, though they are now districts 
incorporated with the wilderness of streets. There was 
a coach which took three hours to run, or rather to 
flounder, from the village of Paddington to London ; 
and Lord Hervey, in country retirement at Kensington, 
laments that the impassable roads should cause his 
entire isolation from his friends in London. 

The names spitalfields, bethnal green, field 

LAND, indicate the rural character of the districts that 
separated the outlying villages from the neighbouring 
city. In these fields the citizens could take pleasant 
country walks with their wives, while their children 
clambered over GOODMAN'S STYLE, in GOODMAN'S 

^ Smith, Antiquarian Ramble^ vol. i. p. 302 ; Madcay, History of London^ 
p. 27a. 

' Timbs, Curiosities of London, p. 473. 

• Smith, Antiquarian Ramble, vol. i. p. 1 1 7. 


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Gradual Extension of the Town, 277 

FIELDS, or, on rare occasions, went nutting on Nutting 
or NOTTING HILL. There were windmills in windmill 
STREET, at the top of the Haymarket, and in WINDMILI> 
STREET, Finsbury ; there was a water-mill in MILFORD 
LANE, Strand ; while the hounds of the Lord Mayor's 
pack were kenneled at DOG-HOUSE bar, in the City 

In TOTHILL FIELDS there was a bear garden, and in 
the fields by the side of the brook which has given its 
name to Brook Street, an annual fair was held on the 
site of Curzon Street and Hertford Street — a rural fdte 
whose memory is preserved in the name of the fashion- 
able region of mayfair. 

The names of the present streets will enable us to 
trace the courses of the brooks which ran through these 
country fields. The little stream called the HOLBORN, 
rising near Holborn Bars, gave its name to the street 
down which it flowed,^ and after turning the mill at 
TURNBULL or Turnmill Street, it joined the FLEET 
river at Holborn Bridge. From this point to the Thames 
the Fleet was navigable, at all events by barges, as is 
attested by the names of seacoal lane and Newcastle 

» The "Old Bourne," or bum, is the etymology of "The Holborn," 
which is universally given — thoughtlessly copied, according to the usual 
custom, by one writer from another. That a village or town should be 
called Oldham, Aldborough, or Newton is intelligible, but how a name 
like Oldboume should have arisen is difficult to explain. The introduction 
of the ^ is another difficulty in the way of this etymology. It seems far 
more in accordance with etymological laws to refer the name to the Anglo- 
Saxon hoU^ a hollow, or ravine ; the Holborn will therefore be "the Bum 
in the hollow," like the Holbeck in Lincolnshire, and the Holbec in 
Normandy. The Chartere in the Codex Diplomaticus supply apposite 
instances of the usage of the Anglo-Saxon word hole. See Leo, Anglo- 
Saxon Names, p. 80. 


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278 T}u Street Names of London. 

Finsbury and Moorfields were drained by the WAL- 
BROOK, which passed through the wall in its course to 
the Thames. Two or three centuries ago this stream 
was vaulted over, and walbrook street was built 
upon the ground thus gained. At BUDGE ROW — a 
corruption of Bridge Row — there was a bridge over the 
brook. The langbourne, another of the city streams, 
has given its name to one of the London wards ; and 
SHERBOURNE LANE, near London Bridge, marks the 
course of the Sherbourne. Further to the west, the 
positions of two small rivulets which crossed the Strand 

The TYBURN, a much larger stream, after passing by 
the church of St Mary le bourne, or MARYLEBONE, and 
crossing the great western road near Stratford Place, 
passed across BROOK STREET, and down ENGINE STREET, 
to the depression of Piccadilly. The hollow in the 
Green Park is, in fact, the valley of the Tyburn, and 
the ornamental water in front of Buckingham Palace 
was the marsh in which it stagnated before its junction 
with the Thames. 

To the west of the Holborn and the Tyburn we find 
the WESTBOURNE, with its affluent the KILBURN.^ Where 
this stream crossed the great western road, it spread out 
into a shallow BAY-WATER,^ where cattle might drink at 
the wayside. On the formation of Hyde Park a dam 
was constructed across the valley of the Westbourne, 
so as to head up the water, thus forming the SERPENTINE 

^ Either the Cold-burn, or, more probably, the Well-bum. See p. i86^ 

■ A different etymology of Bayswater is, however, proposed in Notes and 
Qucties^ first series, vol. i. No. 1 1, p. 162. 


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TIte Brooks^ Wells, and Conduits, 279 

RIVER, which leaves the park at Albert Gate, and crosses 
the Kensington Road at KNIGHTSBRIDGE. 

It would appear that the water supply of Old London, 
when not derived from the Thames, the Holborn, or the 
Tyburn, was obtained from numerous wells — CLERKEN- 
WELL or the priest's well, bridewell or St. Bridget's 

and others — and in later times from the conduits or foun- 
tains which gave a name to lamb's CONDUIT STREET, 
and CONDUIT street, Regent Street. The use of 
the SHOREDITCH, the Walbrook, the Sherbourne, the 
Langbourne, and the Fleet, was, we will hope, discon- 
tinued at a comparatively early period. 

Redriff, which is a corruption of Rotherhithe, St. 
Mary SOMERSET, a corruption of Summer's Hithe, 
STEPNEY,^ anciently Stebenhithe, QUEENHITHE, and 
LAMBETH, or Loamhithe, mark some of the chief 
** hithes" or landing-places on the banks of the Thames.* 

Close to London Bridge we find the church of St, 
Mary OVERY, or St. Mary of the Ferry.* This name, if 
we may believe the old traditions, recalls the time when 
the Thames was unbridged, and when the proceeds of 
the ferry formed the valuable endowment of the con- 

* I am not aware that any etymology of the name of \vych street has 
been proposed. Like Wynch Street in Bristol, it may be probably derived 
fiY)m the wynch of the public well of Holywell. 

* The name was anciently written Stebenhethe, which would mean either 
the ** timber wharf," or perhaps " Stephen's wharf." Cunningham, Hand- 
book for London^ p. 78a 

s The names of Eiith and Greenhithe, lower down the river, contain the 
same root. 

^ This etymology, as well as the myths of the miserly ferryman and his 
fiiir daughter, are open to grave suspicion. St Maiy Overy is probably 
St. Mary Ofer-ea, or St Mary by the water-side. The Anglo-Saxon ofer 
is the saniie as the modem German ufer^ a shore. 


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28o The Street Nanus of London. 

ventual church, just as HORSEFERRY ROAD is a remi- 
niscence of the ferry which Westminster Bridge has 

The Thames was formerly by no means confined to 
its present bed, but both above and below the city spread 
out into broad marshes, where the varying channels of 
the river inclosed numerous islands.^ LAMBETH MARSH, 
and perhaps marsham STREET, may remind us of the 
former. Some of the islands are commemorated by such 
names as CHELSEA, which is a corruption of cJiesel-^^ 
or shingle isle ; battersea, which is St Peter's-ey ; as 

The monastic establishments were chiefly situated in 
the fields around the city, their sacred character render- 
ing unnecessary the protection of the walls. Convent, or 
CO VENT GARDEN,' was the garden of the monks of WEST- 
MINSTER ABBEY. The name of the Chartreuse, or Car- 
thusian convent, has been corrupted into the CHARTER- 
HOUSE. At CANONBURY, Islington, was an affiliated 
establishment of the canons of St Bartholomew's Priory, 
now St Bartholomew's Hospital. SPITAL SQUARE occu- 
pies the site of the churchyard belonging to the church 
of the priory and hospital of St. Mary, which stood 
beyond the walls in SPITAL fields. In AUSTIN friars, 
Broad Street, stood the convent of the Augustines ; that of 

^ See Chambers, Ancient Sta Margins, p. 14. Thomey Island, on wfaidi 
Westminster Abbey was built, seems to have been completely surrounded 
by the river. The ornamental water in St James's Park occupies a part 
of the bed of the northern branch of the Thames. During tlie excavation 
of St Katharine's Docks old ships were dug out, showing that here also the 
Thames must have shifted its channel. Lyell, Antiquity o/Man, p. 129. 

' Perhaps a corruption of the Isle of Digues, or dikes. 

s So Orchard Street, Bristol, was the garden of a monastery, and Culver 
Street was the columbarium. Lucas, Secularia^ p. 98* 


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Monastic Establishments of London. 28 1 

the Minoresses, or Nuns of St. Clare, was in the MINORIES, 
just outside the eastern wall ; and in CRUTCHED FRIARS, 
Tower Hill, was that of the Crutched Friars, distin- 
guished by the cross upon their dress.^ ST. Katharine's 
DOCKS occupy the site of the abbey of St. Catherine. 
The Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem occupied what 
is now the TEMPLE; the round church, built on the 
model of the church of the Holy Sepulchre, being the 
only part of the ancient building still remaining. At ST. 
JOHN'S GATE, Clerkenwell, we find a vestige of the other 
great military order, the Hospitallers, the Knights of the 
Hospital of St John, of Jerusalem, Rhodes, and Malta. 

To several of the convents belonged sanctuaries, or 
precincts possessing the valuable privilege of freedom 
from arrest. The BROAD SANCTUARY belonged to the 
abbot and monks of Westminster. The monastic esta- 
blishment of the SAVOY enjoyed similar privileges. The 
Times is now printed within the precincts of the convent 
of the BLACK FRIARS,* or Dominicans,' who together 
with the WHITEFRIARS, or Carmelites, and the GREY 
FRIARS*, or Franciscans, possessed the privileges of sanc- 

1 A cruUh is the old English word for a cross. A cripple's crutch has a 
cross piece of wood at the top. Crouchmass was the festival on the 14th 
of September, in honour of the Holy Cross. To crouch is to bend the body 
into the form of a cross. Crochet work is performed with a crooked needle. 
A person who has a crotchet has a crook in the mind. A crotchet in music 
is a crooked note. A shepherd's crook is crooked at the top. 

t Gloster Court, Blackfriars, is a corruption of Cloister Court. See 
WhewcU, in Philological Proceedings^ vol, v. p. 14a 

s The Augustines, the Dominicans, the Franciscans, and the Carmelites, 
were the four mendicant orders, whose sphere of labour lay among the 
crowded population of great dties. The Benedictines and Cistercians had 
their establishments, for the most part, in country districts, where they dis- 
charged the duties of great feudal landowners. See Pauli, Pictures of Old 
England, pp. S3— 64. 

** The monastery of the Greyfriars is now Christ's Hospital. The cloisters 


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282 The Street Names of London. 

tuary, the abuse of which has conferred an unenviable 
notoriety upon the districts to which these immunities 
were attached.^ 

Special districts in the city, or in the suburbs, were 
assigned to aliens, or appropriated by those who carried 
on certain trades. TOOLEY- STREET, a corruption of St 
Olaf s Street,^ and ST. CLEMENT DANES* mark respec- 
tively the colony and the burying-place of the Danes 
in the southern and western suburbs. The Jews were 
admitted within the walls, and resided in the two districts 
which still retain the names of JEWIN STREET and the 
OLD JEWRY. The LOMBARD pawnbrokers and money 
dealers established themselves in the street which bears 
their name, between the two chief centres of trade, the posi- 
tions of which are denoted by the names of CHEAPSIDE 
and EASTCHEAP.* The corn-market on CORNHILL ad- 
joined the grass-market in Grasschurch or gracechuRCH 
STREET, and the hay-market in FENCHURCH STREET.* 
The wool-market was held round the churchyard of ST. 
MARY WOOLCIIURCH. The grocers were established in 
SOPERS' LANE f the buckler-makers in BUCKLERSBURY '; 

and the buttery are the only parts of the old edifice now remaining. The 
Greyfriars were sometimes called the Minorites, but the name of the 
Minories is derived, as has been said above, from the Minoress nuns, and 
not from the Minorite friars. 

^ Pauli, Pictures of Old England^ pp. 425 — ^427, 

' St. Olaf was the great saint of Scandinavia. 

* See Worsaae, Danes and Norwegians^ p. 16; Stanley, Study of Modem 
History^ p. 361 ; Stow, Survey^ bk. iv. p. 113 ; Timbs, Curiosities of London^ 
p. 123. 

^ From the Anglo-Saxon ceap^ sale. 

* The name of Fenchurch is probably from ftenum or foin, hay. The 
western haymarket dates from a much later period. 

* Now Queen Street, Cheapside. 

' Stow, however, gives another derivation for this name. SMrs<ey, 
Book iU. p. 27. 


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Concentration of Trades. 283 

and LOTHBURY, a corruption of Lattenbury, was inha- 
bited by the workmen in brass and copper. The names 
SMITHFIELD, indicate the localities appropriated to other 

The streets in the neighbourhood of ST. PAUL'S were 
occupied by those who ministered to the temporal and 
spiritual necessities of the frequenters of the church. 
dean's court, doctors' commons, and godliman 
STREET, still form an oasis of ecclesiastical repose amid 
the noise and whirr of the city. At the great entrance 
of the cathedral the scene must have resembled that 
which we see at the doors of continental churches, which 
are often blocked up by stalls for the sale of rosaries, 
crucifixes, and breviaries. We read in Stow's Survey : 
" This street is now called PATERNOSTER ROW, because 
of the stationers or text-writers that dwelled there, who 
wrote and sold all sorts of books then in use, namely 
A B C, or Absies, with the Paternoster, Ave, Creed, 
Graces, &c. There dwelled also Turners of Beads, and 

they were called Paternoster-makers At the end 

of Paternoster Row is AVE MARY LANE, so called upon 
the like occasion of text-writers and bead-makers then 
dwelling there. And at the end of that lane is likewise 
creed lane, late so called, .... and amen corner is 
added thereunto betwixt the south end of Warwick Lane, 
and the north end of Ave Mary Lane." * 

* A corruption of Leather Hall. 

' A Sheremonier was a man who cut bullion into shape ready for coining. 
The MINT, in Bermondsey, was the issuing place at a later date. 

• Stow, Survey of the Cities of London and Westminster^ voL i. p. 174. 


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284 The Street Names of London. 

Of the recreations of old London but few memorials 
are preserved in names. It is difficult to realize the fact 
that tournaments were held on London Bridge, or in the 
middle of Cheapside. The name of QUEEN STREET, 
Cheapside, seems to have arisen from an ancient stone 
balcony which had been erected at the corner of the 
street in order to enable the queens of England to enjoy 
the spectacle of the tourneys which on special occasions 
were held in this great thoroughfare.^ 

Drury Lane Theatre was built on the site of a cockpit 
called the Phoenix, the memory of which is perpetuated, 
not only in the *' Rejected Addresses," but by the names 
of PHCENIX ALLEY, leading to Long Acre, and of COCK- 
PIT ALLEY in Great Wyld Street 

The names of many of our streets preserve the remem- 
brance of the sites of the town houses of great historical 
families. These were originally within the walls.* ADDLE 
STREET, near the Guildhall, is believed by Stow to owe 
its name to the royal residence of Athelstane, which once 
stood upon the site. In the time of Henry VL the 
Percys, Earls of Northumberland, had their town house 
near Fenchurch Street, on the spot which still goes by 
the name of Northumberland alley. The De la 
Poles, Dukes of Suffolk, lived in SUFFOLK LANE, Cannon 

Contiguous to the Cathedral at Geneva are streets called Des Tontes Ames, 
Des Limbes, Du Paradis, and D'Enfer. Salverte, Essai^ vol. ii. p. 336. 

1 The permanent stone balcony was erected in 1329, in consequence ot 
the fall of one of the temporary wooden structures previously used. The 
name of the street was bestowed in 1667, when it was rebuilt after the 
Great Fire. See Mackay, History 0/ London, p. 97 ; Cunningham, Hand" 
dooi,p, 185. 

' Richard III. resided in Castle Baynard, and Duke Humphrey of Glou- 
cester, and Prince Rupert, in the Barbican, old palace yard reminds 
us of the ancient palace of the kings of England, the site of which is now 
occupied by the Houses of Parliament 


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sports and Pastimes, 285 

Street ; duck's foot lane, close by, is probably a 
corruption of Duke's Foot Lane; the Manners family 
resided in RUTLAND PLACE, Blackfriars; the Earls of 
Devonshire in DEVONSHIRE SQUARE, Bishopsgate ; and 
the Earls of Bridgewater in BRIDGEWATER SQUARE, 
Barbican. LONDON HOUSE yard, in St. Paul's Church- 
yard, marks the site of the palace attached to the See 
of London. 

The greater security which existed under the Tudor 
princes is shown by the fact, that the protection of the 
walls was gradually found to be unnecessary, and 
mansions began to cover the ground between London 
and Westminster, where hitherto churchmen only had 
found it safe to reside. 

The Bishops of Bangor, Chichester, Durham, and Ely 
lived, respectively, in BANGOR COURT, Shoe Lane; 
CHICHESTER RENTS, Chancery Lane ; DURHAM street, 
Temple Bar ; and ELY PLACE, Holborn. SAFFRON hill, 
Bear Ely Place, has obtained its name from the saffron 
which grew abundantly in the gardens of Ely House. 
Between the river Fleet and Temple Bar, we find 
SALISBURY SQUARE, which occupies the site of the 
.courtyard of the old Salisbury House, belonging to the 
see of Sarum ; while DORSET STREET and DORSET 
COURT, Fleet Street, mark the position of the residence 
of the Sackvilles, Earls of Dorset. In Clerkenwell we 
find a NORTHAMPTON SQUARE, which was formerly the 
garden of the Earls of Northampton ; and in AYLESBURY 
STREET and COBHAM ROW, both in the same fashionable 
locality, were the houses of the Earls of Aylesbury, and 
of the celebrated Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham. 
The Wriothesleys, Earls of Southampton, lived in 


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286 The Street Names of London, 

Christopher Hatton, Eh'zabeth's chancellor, had his 
house in HATTON GARDEN. 

But the neighbourhood of the Strand ^ was the favourite 
residence of the great nobles, probably because the 
execrable condition of the roads rendered necessary the 
use of the Thames as the chief highway. At the begin- 
ning of the seventeenth century the Strand must have pre- 
sented the appearance of a continuous line of palaces, 
with gardens sloping down to the brink of the then silvery 
COURT, point out the spot where Elizabeth's favourite 
plotted and rebelled. The great space which is now 

FOLK STREET, and ARUNDEL STREET, IS a proof of the 
wide extent of the demesne attached to Arundel House, 
the residence of "all the Howards." The present 
SOMERSET HOUSE Stands on the site of the palace built 
by the Protector Somerset, which afterwards became the 
residence of Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I. Those 
nests of poverty and crime called CLAREHOUSE COURT, 
mansion and gardens of Clare House, the residence of 
the Earls of Clare, afterwards Dukes of Newcastle. 
Near CRAVEN BUILDINGS, Drury Lane, stood the house 
of Lord Craven, a soldier of the Thirty Years' War, 
celebrated as the hero of Creutznach, and the champion 
of the Winter Queen. CLIFFORD'S INN and GRAY'S INN 
were the mansions of the Barons Clifford and Gray de 
Wilton. Peter de Savoy, uncle of Eleanor of Provence, 
the queen of Henry HI., built for himself a palace at the 
SAVOY, which was afterwards converted into a conventual 
establishment. Facing each other, on opposite sides of 
* See Ctmningham, Handbook for London, pp. 783, 784- 


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Houses occupied by Historic Families, 287 

the Strand, stood the mansions of the two sons of the 
great Sir William Cecil, Lord Burleigh. The elder son, 
created Earl of Exeter, occupied his father's house, 
which has now made way for BURLEIGH STREET, 
EXETER HALL, and EXETER STREET ; while the younger 
son, Sir Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, built Salisbury 
House on the site where CECIL STREET and SALISBURY 
STREET are now standing.^ 

In close proximity to the houses of the Cecils was, 
as we have seen, the *' convent garden," belonging to 
the abbot and monks of Westminster. After the 
dissolution of the monasteries this property came into 
the hands of the Russell family, and here the Earls of 
Bedford built a mansion, which, about a century and a 
half ago, gave place to SOUTHAMPTON street, russell 


The Russells then removed to Bloomsbury, where 
preserve the memory of the great house they occupied. 
another historic name — ^that of Robert Sydney, Earl of 
Leicester, whose house stood on what is now called 
serve every syllable of the name and titles of " Steenie," 
the fortunate and unfortunate avourite of James I. and 
"baby Charles." Of all the palaces which once lined 

1 The Adelphi, with the five streets— Robert Street, John Street, George 
Street, James Street, and Adam Street, was built in 1760, by four brothers 
of the name of Adam. 

« Now improved away. See Stanley, Lecture on the Sttidy of Modem 
History ^ p. 362. 


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288 The Street Nantes of London, 

the Strand, Northumberland House is the only one 
which still remains. 

If the Strand is full of memories of the statesmen and 
favourites of Elizabeth, PICCADILLY ^ brings us to the 
time of the Restoration. ALBEMARLE Street and 
Street,^ DOVER Street, JERMYN Street and ST. alban's 
Place,« SACKVILLE Street and DORSET Place,^ CLEVE- 
LAND Row,8 KING Street, Charles Street, St. james' 
Street, duke Street, YORK Street, and The ALBANY,* 
are in convenient proximity to PALL MALL, and the 
MALL in St. James's Park, where the courtiers from 
whom these streets derived their names played at Paille 
Maille while the merry monarch fed his ducks. 

There are a few scattered names to remind us of 
persons and events memorable in later times. HARLEY 
Square, and HOLLES Street, take their names from 
Harley, Earl of Oxford, and his wife Lady Henrietta 
Cavendish Holies. HANS Place and SLOANE Street 
bear the names of Sir Hans Sloane, who invested his 
fees in the purchase of the manor of Chelsea, and in the 

1 So called from Piccadilla Hall, a shop for the sale of piccadillas, the 
fashionable peaked or turn-over collars. 

' Monk, Duke of Albemarle, and Nan Claiges, Duchess of Albemarle. 

• Henry Bennet, Earl of Arlingjton, 
4 Boyle, Earl of Cork. 

" Lord Keeper Coventry. 

• Henry Jermyn, Earl of St. Albans, one of the heroes of Gnunmonfs 

' Edward Sackville, Earl of Dorset 

^ The ''beautiful fury," Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland, mistress 
of Charles II. 
' Charles II., and James, Duke of York and Albany. 


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Streets dating from the Restoration. 289 

formation of a collection of natural curiosities as cele- 
brated as Harley's collection of MSS. or the marbles of 
the Earl of Arundel. PIMLICO takes its name from a 
celebrated character of a very different order— one Ben 
Pimlico, who kept a suburban tavern, first at Hoxton, 
but afterwards transferred to the neighbourhood of 

The dates at which other streets were built can, in 
many cases, be determined by the names they bear. 
If the SAVOY reminds of the queen of Henry III., 
PORTUGAL Street, Lincoln's Inn, carries us to the time 
of the marriage of Charles II. QUEEN ANNE Street, 
Street, REGENT Street, KING WILLIAM Street, and 
VICTORIA Street, afford dates, more or less definite, of 
certain metropolitan extensions or improvements ; while 
BLENHEIM Street, QUEBEC Street, VIGO Street, WATER- 
LOO Bridge, and TRAFALGAR Square, are instances of 
that system of nomenclature which has been so exten- 
sively carried out in Paris. 

1 The MALAKOFF, in like maimer, was called from a tavern kept by 
Alexander Ivanovitch Malakoff, a ropemaker discharged for drunkenness 
from the arsenal at Sebastopol. Strange origin for a ducal title. See 
Chamock, Local Etymology^ pp. 172, 210, 

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290 Historic Sites. 



Places of popular assemhly—^iunnimede^Moot-hiU'^Detmold^T^e Scoftdi- 
navian *^ things^' or parlianunts—The Thir^dlir of Icdandr^The Thmg- 
walls and Dingwdls of Great Britain — Tynwald Hill in the Iskof Man 
^Battle-fields: Lichfield^ Battle, Slaughter— Conflicts with the Danes— 
Eponytnic Names — Myths of Early English History — Carisbrooke^-Hengist 
and Horsa — Cissa^j^Me-^ Cerdic — Offa — Maes Garmon — British Ckuf- 
tains — Valetta — Alexander — Names of the Roman Emperors— Modern 
Names of this Class, 

In the preceding chapter it has been shown how the 
history of a great city tends to perpetuate itself in its 
street-names. It would be easy, did space permit, to 
apply the same method of investigation to other cities, 
such as Paris,^ Rome, or Athens. We might show, from 
the evidence of names, how Paris was originally confined 
to the little island in the Seine, upon which the cathedral 
of N6tre Dame now stands ; and how the louvre was 
at first a hunting-seat; and the TUILERIES a tile-yard 
(French tuiU, a tile). The names of the Palatine, the 
Vatican, and the Janiculum, of the Forum, and the Latin 
Gate at Rome, or of the Ceramicus, the Acropolis, 

1 This has been imperfectly attempted for Paris in a work by M. Ferdinand 
Heuzey, entitled, Curiositis de la Citi de Paris, Histoire Efymologique de ses 
Rues, &c. Paris, 1864. 


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Places of Popular A ssembly. 29 1 

and the Pnyx at Athens, would prove similarly sug- 

But the instance of London may suffice as an example 
of the value of local names in city history, and in this 
chapter we will rather pursue another department of the 
subject, and collect the names of various scattered HIS- 
TORIC SITES — names which conserve the remembrance 
of historic personages, which denote the localities of 
great battles, or of places otherwise memorable in the 
history of the human race. 

The places where popular self-government has at any 
time been exercised, are frequently indicated by local 

RUNNIMEDE, the "meadow of the runes," was the 
ancient Anglo-Saxon field of council \^ and, on the spot 
thus consecrated to national liberty, the privileges of the 
great feudatories of England were afterwards secured by 
the Magna Charta. 

In Scotland the ancient place of assembly was the 
MOTE HILL at Scone, near the ancient capital of Scot- 
land.' In the midst of the town of Hawick there is a 
singular conical mound called the MOAT HILL. We may 
notice also the names of the MOOT HILL at the eastern 
end of Lyne Bridge, and the MOTE OF THE MARK in 
Galloway. On the confines of the Lake District, there 
are hills called MOUTAY and CAERMOTE ; and there is a 

^ There are monographs of greater or less value on the street-names of 
the cities of Brunswick, Heiligenstadt, Hildesheim, Koln, Nuremberg, and 
Amsterdam. A curious list of German street-names will be found in f orste- 
mann, DetU, OrUnamen^ pp. 167 — 169. 

■ Matthewof Westminster, A. D. 12 15. 

' This, perhaps the most interesting historical memorial in Scotland, has 
been recently removed, to improve the view from the drawing-room window ! 
Palgiave, Normandy and England^ vol. iv« p. 336. 

U 2 

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292 Historic Sites. 

MOOT-HILL at Naseby, all of which have probably served 
as the meeting-places of assemblies.^ 

The Stannary Court of the Duchy of Cornwall is an 
assembly which represents, in continuous succession, the 
local courts of the ancient Britons. The court was 
formerly held in the open air, on the summit of CROKERN 
TOR,* where the traveller may still see concentric tiers of 
seats hewn out of the rock. The name of Crokem Tor 
seems to point to a deliberative assembly,* and WIST- 
MAN's WOOD, in the immediate neighbourhood, suggests 
the wisdom traditionally imputed to the grave and 
reverend seniors who took part in the debates. 

In Germany there are several places called Ditmold. 
MOL, and KIRCHDITMOLD. These were all places of 
popular assembly, as the names imply. The first portion 
of the name is diet, people, which we have in the name 
of Deutschland.* The suffix is mal, a place of assembly, 
or a court of justice.* 

But the most noticeable traditions of ancient liberties 
are associated with the places where the Things,^ the 

^ Ferguson, Northmen in Cumberland^ p. 33 ; Pennant, Scotland^ toL liL 
p. 115. 

* See Gough's Camden, vol. i. pp. 43, 49 ; Murray, Handbook of Deven^ 


> We have the Welsh word gragan^ to speak loud, whence comes the 
English verb to croak^ to make a loud noise like a frog or raven. The 
creaking of a door and the name of the corncrake are from the same root 
Compare the Sanskrit kruf^ to call out, the Greek icpii^m^ and the Latin 
crocire. See Diefenbach, VergUichendes IVorterb. voL ii. p. 591 ; Ceitua^ 
Glossary, Na 184; Whitaker, History of Manchester^ vol il p. 313. 

* See p. 59, supra, 

^ Piderit, Orisnamen^ pp. 309, 310; Forstemann, Die Deutscken Ortsna- 
*"^**^^ P- 95 5 Diefenbach, Vergieich, Wbrterb. voL ii. pp. 59, 706. 

< The word thing is derived from the Old Norse tinga, to speak, and is 
allied to the English word to think. See Ihre, Ghisarium^ SuiogotAscum^ 


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The ThingvetltK 293 

judicial and legislative assemblies of the Scandinavian 
nations, were wont to meet. These institutions, of which 
. we find traces in all the regions colonized by the North- 
men, were derived from the parent country, Norway, 
where there was an Althing^ or general assembly, and 
four district Things for the several provinces.^ The 
Norwegian parliament still goes by the name of the 
Stor-thingy or great council. The Thing usually met on 
some island, hill, or promontory, where its deliberations 
could be carried on secure from lawless disturbance. 

The Swedish parliament used to assemble on a mound 
near Upsala, which still bears the name of TINGSHOGEN 

One of the chief attractions for Icelandic tourists is a 
vast sunken lava-plain which bears the name of the 
THINGVELLIR,' or " council plains." In the midst of this 
plain there is an isolated area, some two hundred feet long 
and fifty broad, which is guarded on every side by deep 
rifts,* produced by the cooling of the lava. Across these 
rifts the sole access is by one narrow bridge of rock. This 

vol. ii p. 901 ; Haldorsen, Islandske Lexicon^ vol. ii. p. 407. The bodyguard 
of the Danish kings was called thingamanna liih, its chief duty being to 
escort the iDonarch at these assemblies. 

* Laing, ffeimskringia, vol i. pp. 103, 114 — 119. 

• Ibid. vol. i. pp. 89, 117. 

« Often wrongly called the Thingvalla. This, however, is the genitive 
case. The word vollr means a plain or field. The root is the Norse voir, 
a stick or post (Maeso-Gothic vaius : cf. the English goal, a winning-/*?^/). 
The voUr takes its name from the nature of the inclosing fence, like ton, 
Aanty garthy &c. See pp. 119 — 121, and the notes on the words bally and 
baily pp. 247, 274, supra; also Diefenbach, VergUUh, JVorierb. vol. i. 

p. 179. 

< A tradition which still lingers on the spot avers that during the battle 
which ensued upon the hearing of the suit for the burning of Njal*s house, 
Flosi, the leader of the burners, took a wild and desperate leap across one 
of these chasms. Pasent, Burnt Njal^ voL L p. cxxviii. 


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294 Historic SiUs, 

spot, so well guarded by nature, is called the ALTHING, 
and was the assembly-place of the "general council" of 
the whole island. A mound, in the midst of the Althing, 
bears the name of the LoGBERG,^ the sacred "hill of 
laws," from whose summit, for nine hundred years, all 
the enactments of the Althing had to be promulgated 
before they could receive the force of laws.* 

Each of the twelve districts into which Iceland is 
divided had also its Things where the peasant-nobles 
carried into effect their privileges of local self-govern- 
ORE, aqd THINGMULI, were, as the names denote; 
places at which some of these subordinate assemblies 
were accustomed to be held. 

The Northmen introduced their Things into England. 
The very name survives among us as a household word. 
A "meeting," according to Dr. Dasent, is the mot thing, 
or assembly of freeholders, and at the " hustings," or 
hotise things, the duly qualified householders still as- 
semble to delegate their l^slative powers to their repre- 
sentatives in parliament* 

In the Danelagh, as well as in most of the detached 
Scandinavian colonies, we find local names which prove 
the former existence of these Things. 

^ The upper chamber of the Norwegian parliament is called the Z^. 
Crichton, Scandinavia, vol. i. p. 158. 

• The Thingvellir have been described sixteen times by recent tniTeQeis. 
Perhaps the most graphic accounts are those given by Dasent, Bumi A)»4 
vol. L pp. cxxv.— <:xxxix. ; Norsemen in Iceland, p. 207 ; Dufierin, LMers 

from High Latitudes, pp. 84—^5 ; and Baring-Gould, Iceland, pp. 67 — ^71. 
The Icelandic parliament, with full legislative and judicial powers, Gon« 
tinued to meet at the Thingvellir till the year 1800. The legislative powas 
have now ceased ; the judicial functions were restored in 1845, since which 
time the meeting-place has been at Reykjavik. 

* Dasent, Burnt Njal, vol. i. p. li. ; Worsaae, Danes, p. 19. 


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Thingwall 295 

In the Shetland Islands, sandsthing, aithsthing, 
DELTING, NESTING, and LUNZIESTING, were the places 
of assembly for the local Things of the several islands,^ 
while TINGWALL seems to have been the spot where the 
AltMngy or general assembly, was held. In a fresh* 
water lake, in the parish of Tingwall, there is an island 
still called the SAWTING. On it are four great stones, 
the seats for the officers of the cou^f, and the access is 
by stepping-stones laid in the shallow waters of the 
lake.^ In the Shetlands, the old Norwegian laws are 
even now administered at open courts of justice, which 
still go by the ancient name of Lawtings. 

In the Ross-shire colony we find the names of DING- 
WALL and TAIN,' while TINWALD Hill, near Dumfries, 
was the assembly place of the colonists who settled on 
the northern shore of the Solway.* Not far from the 
centre of the Cheshire colony in the Wirall, we find the 
village of thingwall.* Near Wrabness, within the 
limits of the little colony in the north-east of Essex, we 
find a place whose name, DENGEWELL, probably marks 
the spot where the local jurisdiction was exercised. The 
three neighbouring Danish parishes of Thorp le Soken, 
Walton le Soken, and Kiyby le Soken, possessed the 
privil^e of holding a soke^ or local court, independent 
of the jurisdiction of the hundred — a vestige, probably, 
of their ancient Scandinavian franchises. 

^ These were usually held in the centre of circles of upright stones, 
perhaps the erection of an earlier race. See Wilsoo, Pre-hisUyric Annals^ 
p. 113 ; Poste, Brit, Retearches, p. 256 ; Worsaae, Danes^ p. 232. 

* Martin, Description of the Western Isles, p. 383, quoted by Train, Isle of 
Man, voL L p. 299. 

* Worsaae, Danes and Norwegians, p. 260. 

* lb. p. 204 ; Crichton, Scandinavia, voL l p. 158. See p. 172, supra, 
« Worsaae, Danes, p. 70. 

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2^ Historic Sites. 

In the absence of all documentary evidence, I was 
inclined to believe that the apparently Danish names in 
Devonshire I must be explained from Saxon sources; I 
felt that I should hardly be justified in placing a Scandi- 
navian colony in that county, so far removed from their 
compatriots in the Danelagh. But all cause for hesita- 
tion was removed by the accidental discovery of an 
isolated farmhouse bearing the name of DINGWELL. It 
stands on a plateau, steeply scarped on three sides, and 
about a mile from the village of THUR-SHEL-TON, a name 
every syllable of which is of the Icelandic type, denoting 
the tun or enclosure round the skaaler, or wooden booths, 
which were usually erected at some little distance from 
the Thingvellir for the convenience of persons attending 
the meeting. The Thing was inaugurated by sacrifices 
and religious ceremonies, which enables us to understand 
why the name of the deity Thor, should appear in the 
first syllable of this name Thurshelton.* These two 
names, Thurshelton and Ding^ell, surrounded as they 
are by names of the Norse type, seem to prove conclu- 
sively* that the Northmen must have settled in this 
remote comer of the island in sufficient numbers to 
establish their usual oi^anized self-government 

In the Danelagh we meet with several places bearing 
names of the same class, which may, with greater or less 
certainty, be regarded as meeting places of local Things. 

1 See pp. 179, 180, supra, 

* Near Tingwall, in Shetland, we find Scalloway, or Booth Bay. 
Worsaae, Dams, p. 232. Mr. Ferguson thinks Voitxagscale^ near Keswick, 
is an analogous name. Northmen^ P- S'* 

s This conclusion, it is fair to add, has been ably controveited by Mr. 
King, in Notes and Queries, Nov. 5th, 1864. He would derive the name of 
Thurshelton from a neighbouring stream called the Thistle Brook, and is of 
opinion that all the apparently Norse names in Devonshire may be explained 
from Saxon sources. Valeai quantum. 


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Tynwald HilL 297 

In Northamptonshire we have, near Kettering, a place 
called FINEDON, which was anciently written Thingdon, 
and there is a place called DINGLEY near Market Har- 
borough. Not far from Stamford we find TINWELL in 
the county of Rutland, and TINGEWICK, in the north of 
Buckinghamshire. In Yorkshire, there are TINSLEY near 
Rotherham, and THWING near Bridlington. In Durham, 
on the extreme northern border of the Danelagh, we 
find DINSDALE,^ a place which is almost entirely sur- 
rounded by one of the bends of the Tees, and is thus 
well protected from hostile intrusion, as is the case with 
so many of these sites. I cannot discover the place where 
the Lincolnshire Thing assembled, unless indeed it be 


In the Scandinavian district of Cumberland and West- 
moreland, the word Thing does not appear in any local 
name ; but the Vale of LEGBERTHWAITE, no doubt, con- 
tained the logbergf or " hill of laws," from which the local 
enactments were promulgated.^ 

By far the most interesting of these ancient West- 
minsters is TYNWALD HILL in the Isle of Man. Less thun 
a century ago the Isle of Man preserved a sort of quasi 
independence of the British crown, and it was only in the 
year 1764 that the Duke of Athol parted with the last of 
the royal rights, which had descended to him from the 
ancient Norwegian kings. But though the representative 
of the Norwegian jarls has divested himself of his regal 
prerogatives, the descendants of the vikings still retain a 
shadow of their ancient legislative powers. The old 
Norse Thing has survived continuously in the Isle of 
Man to the present day, though in Iceland, in Norway, 

1 Tindale in Nortlittmberland is probftbly the Tyne dale. 
* Ferguson, Northmen in Cumberland^ p. 32. 


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298 Historic Sites^ 

and in Denmark, its functions have been intermitted, or 
have long ceased. The three estates still assemble every 
year, and no laws are valid in the island unless they have 
first been duly proclaimed from the summit of TYNWALD 
HILL.^ This is an ancient mound some eighteen feet in 
height, and constructed with four concentric circular 
stages, whose diameters are, respectively, 80, 27, 15, and 
7 feet* 

The ancient place of the coronation of the kings of 
England was KINGSTON in Surrey, where, in the centre 
of the town is still to be seen the stone on which the 
Saxon monarchs sat while the ceremony was performed. 
TRONDHJEM, or DRONTHEIM, was in like manner the 
" throne home," or coronation seat of the kings of Norway,* 
and kOnigsberg,* in the extreme east of Prussia, shows 
the way in which that agglomerated kingdom has ex- 
tended itself westward from the ancient central seat of 
the grand master of the Teutonic Knights.* KINGSGATE, 
in the Isle of Thanet, marks the spot where Charles 11. 
landed after his exile ; and QUEENBOROUGH, in the Isle 
of Sheppey, is a proof of the development of the English 
navy in the time of Edward III. The manor of Hull, or 
KINGSTON-UPON-HULL, was purchased by Edward I.; 
and Coningsby, Coneysby, Conington, Cunningham, 

* Palgrave, Engiish Commonwealth^ vol. L p. 122; Worsaae, Dana^ 
p. 295 ; Crichton, Scandinmna^ voL i. p. 158. A full account of the powers 
of the estates, and of the ceremonies observed when they are convened, will 
be found in Train, Isle of Man, vol. iL pp. 189—201. 

■ Train, Isle o/Moh^ vol. i. pp. 271—273 ; Poste, Brit, Ra. p. 256. 

' It is possible, however, that the root may be the same as that of 
Thrandia. Crichton, Scandinavia^ vol. i. p. 32. 

4 Mone, Cdtische Forxkungaiy p. 265, makes Aigos the equivalent of 
Konigsbeig ! arg, a prince ; ais^ a fortress ! I 

' There are ten Konigsbergs in Germany. See Buttmaan, Orttnamun^ 
p. 2!^ I Forstemann, OrtsnanuHj p. 299. 


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Battle-fields. 299 

Kingthorpe, Kinsby, King's Lynn, Lyme Regis, and 
many similar names, denote the residences, or manors, of 
Saxon, Danish, and English monarchs. 

Local names often conserve the memory of famous 
battles, or sometimes they tell us of forgotten contests of 
which no other memorial remains. 

Probably the greatest reverse ever suffered by the 
Roman arms was the defeat which Hannibal inflicted on 
Flaminius at Thrasymene. The brook which flows 
through this scene of slaughter is still called the SANGUI- 
NETTO, and the name of the neighbouring village of 
OSSAIA shows that the plain must have long been 
whitened by the bones of the fallen Romans.^ 

The Teutonic division of the Cimbric horde which in- 
vaded Italy, was annihilated by Marius in the year 102, 
B.C, and the slaughter is said to have reached the im- 
mense number of 100,000 men. The battlefield after- 
wards bore the name of the Campi Putridi, a name which 
is preserved by the Provencal village of POURRifeRES. 
The Temple of Victory built by the conqueror is now the 
parish church of ST. VICTOIRE.* 

Of the great battles which have changed the course of 
the world's history, few are more important than the 
defeat of the Huns by the Emperor Otho in the tenth 
century. This battle, regarded as to the magnitude of 
its results, can only be compared with the overthrow of 
the Saracens by Charles Martel. The one rescued 
Christianity, the other saved civilization. The Magyar 
host, like that of the Saracens, was all but exterminated, 

^ Dennis, Eiruria, vol. iip. 457 ; Duke of Buckingham, PrivaU Diary ^ 
voL iii. pp. 658 — 666. 
' Sheppard, Fail of Rome, p. 164. 


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300 Historic Sites. 

and the name of the leichfeld, or " Field of Corpses," 
near Augsburg, informs us of the precise locality of the 
fearful slaughter.^ . 

Our two English LICHFIELDS,^ one in Staffordshire* 
and the other in Hampshire, where are seven barrows,* 
as well as leckhampstead in Buckinghamshire, are 
probably memorials of battles of which history has pre- 
served no certain record. The chroniclers tell us that in 
the year 1 173, an army of 10,000 Flemings under Robert, 
Earl of Leicester, was almost totally annihilated at LACK- 
FORD, near Bury St. Edmund's, by Richard Lucy, Chief 
Justice of England. LECKFORD in Hampshire may also 
not improbably indicate the site of a bloody battle which 
was gained by Cymen over the Britons in this immediate 

The final overthrow of the Britons by Athelstan in 
the year 936 occurred at a place called BOLLEIT, in 
Cornwall. This name means in Cornish the " House of 

The name of BATTLEFIELD,* about three miles from 
Shrewsbury, is a memorial of the decisive contest which 
Shakespeare has so vividly brought before us; and an 
additional memorial of the fiery Welsh chieftain is found 
in an ancient tumulus near Corwen, which bears the name 

^ Palgrave, Normandy and England, vol. ii. pp. 658 — 666. 

* The German word letch, 3. corpse, is preserved in the lyckgate of onr 
chnrchyards, where the corpse awaits the approach of the priest ; and in the 
lykewake, or funeral feast, which is celebrated in some parts of Scotland. 
See Drake, Shakspeare and his Times, vol. i. p. 234. 

' The city arms are a field surcharged with dead bodies. Tradition refers 
the name to the martyrdoms of a thousand Christian converts. See Fuller, 
Church History, vol. i. p. 34. 

* Cough's Camden, vol. i. p. 205. 

" The collegiate church of Battlefield was founded by Henry IV. in com- 
memoration of the victory. Pennant, Wales, vol. iL p. 41 1. 


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Battle-fields of Shrewsbury^ Bannocbum, & Hastings. 301 

of Dinas Mont Owain Glyndwr, and from the summit of 
which he is said to have been in the habit of gazing down 
the valley of Dee. 

Close to Bannocbum is the inclosure of BLOODY FOLD, 
where the Earl of Gloucester fell, and the name of GILLIES 
HILL commemorates the station of the camp followers 
who created the fatal panic 

Of the destruction of the Spanish Armada, we have 
a geographical reminiscence in the name of port-NA- 
SPANIEN in Ireland, where one of the galleons of the 
Invincible Armada was dashed to pieces.^ 

There is a place called BATTLE FLATS north of Bos- 
worth, though perhaps hardly near enough to be con- 
fidently referred to as the scene of the struggle. CROWN 
HILL, a small eminence on the plain, is pointed out as 
the spot where Stanley placed Richard's crown on the 
head of Henry VII. 

The flying cavaliers, after the defeat at Naseby, were 
overtaken and cut to pieces at a place now called 
SLA UGHTERFORD, where the road to Harborough crosses 
the Welland ;* and. a part of the route by which Mon- 
mouth's army marched to the night attack at Sedgemoor, 
still goes by the name of WAR LANE.* 

The names of the town of battle in Sussex, and of 
BATTLE FLATS near Stamford Bridge, have already been 
mentioned as instances in point* SENLAC {Sangue Lac)y 
the Norman name of the battle-field of Hastings, still 
survives as a local name in the neighbourhood of the 
town of Battle, standard hill, close by, is said to 

* Goldwin Smith, Irish History and Irish Character, p. 85. 

* James, Northamptonshire, p. 5a 

s Macattky, History ofEngtand^ voL i. p. 608. 

* See p. 7, supra. 


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302 Historic Sites. 

be the place where the Conqueror raised his standard 
previous to the commencement of the engagement, and 
MONTJOIE, one of the four wards of the town, commemo- 
rates the spot to which he rode in triumph at the con- 
clusion of the fight.^ 

About six miles south of Foictiers there is a place 
called MAUPERTUIS, a name supposed to commemorate 
the exact site of the battle-field which proved so disas- 
trous to the chivalry of France. Frederick the Great's 
victory over the Austrians at Hohenfriedberg, has given 
the name of SIEGESBERG, or " Victory Hill," to an emi- 
nence which stands within the confines of the battle- 

The terror which was inspired by the inroads of the 
Danes, and the joy with which their discomfiture was 
hailed, is evidenced by numerous local names, which are 
often associated with traditionary battle-legends whick 
still linger among the surrounding villagers. Such a 
tradition is connected with a camp in Hampshire called 
Ambrose Hole, hard by which runs a rivulet called 
at BLEDLOE*^ {bloody hlaw) in Buckinghamshire, there 
are traditions that great slaughters of the Danes took 

In the Saxon Chronicle (A.D. 1016) we have an account 
of the great victory gained by Cnut over Eadmund Iron- 
side, which led to the division of the kingdom between 
the two monarchs. The Chronicle places the battle at 

1 Hartshome, ScUopia AnUqua, p. 241 ; ^tlgny^ Normandy and En^and^ 
vol iii. p. 406. 

• Carlyle, Frederick the Great^ vol. iv. p. 137. 

• Gough's Camden, vol. i. p. 187. 

• Ibid. vol. i. p. 141. 
B Ibid. vol. ii. p. 41. 


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Conflicts with the Danes, 303 

Assandun in Essex. Near Billericay there is a place 
now called Assingdon, and in the neighbourhood we 
find twenty barrows, and the Aames of CANEWDON and 

On CAMPHILL near Rochdale, the Danes are said to 
have encamped on the eve of the battle that was fought 
in the neighbourhood ; and KILLDANES, the name of the 
valley below Camphill, tells us the story of that bloody 

Near Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire is a Danish 
earthwork called Bury Camp, and the adjacent villages 
bear the names of slaughter and leach.* In a field 
called KNAP DANE in the parish of Nettlecombe, a vast 
quantity of bones was found, supposed to be those of 
the Danes who landed at Watchet in the year 918.* 

At DANEBURY near Chelmsford, and at danes-banks 
in the parish of Chartham in Kent* the outlines of camps 
are still to be traced. GRAVENHILL is also the legendary 
scene of a battle with the Danes. It is surrounded with 
entrenchments, and is covered with mounds, which are 
probably the graves of the fallen warriors.® At DANES 
GRAVES on the Yorkshire wolds numerous small tumuli 
are still visible.^ The name of DANESFORD, in Shrop- 
shire, is supposed to be a memorial of the Danes who 
wintered at the neighbouring town of Quatford in the 
year 896.® dantsey or "Danes Island" in Wiltshire, 

^ Gotigh's Camden, vol. ii. p. 131. 

^ Davies, in PhilologUcU Transactions^ for 1855, p. 261. 

' Ibid, vol, i. p. 407. 

* Ibid. vol. i. p. 90. 

■ Ibid. vol. i. p. 354. 

< Kennett, Parochial AniiquiHeSy vol. i. p. 5a 

7 Worsaae, Danes and Norwegians, p. 40. 

8 Hartshorae, Salopia Antiqua^ p. 260. 


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304 Historic SiUs» 

was formerly the property of the family of the Easter- 
lings,^ a name usually given to the Vikings from the 

Ware in Hertfordshire seems to have been the place 
at which Alfred constructed his weir across the river Lea, 
in order to cut off the retreat of the Danish fleet* 

On Brent Knoll near Athelney in Somersetshire, is a 
camp which tradition ascribes to Alfred, and at the foot 
of the hill, half a mile from its summit, stands the village 
of BATTLEBURY.5 There is also a camp near Salisbury 
which goes by the name of BATTLESBURY, and there is 
a place called BATTLEWIC near Colchester. 

By the side of the Dee in Scotland there is an andent 
earthwork called NORMAN (Northmen's) DIKES, in the 
front of which there is a piece of land which bears the 
name of BLOODY stripe.* Near Bumham in Norfolk 
there is a camp surrounded by tumuli, the road leading 
to which goes by the name of BLOODGATE.* At Chels- 
ham in Surrey there is a Roman camp crowning the 
summit of a knoll called BOTLE or BATLE HILL.* Two 
Roman camps in Forfarshire go by the names of battle 
DIKES and WAR DIKES.'^ There is a camp near Cater- 
ham called WAR COPPICE ; and the name of caterham 
itself may perhaps be referred to the Celtic word catk, 
battle. CADBURY, a name which occurs in Somerset- 
shire and in Devon, means the "Battle entrenchment" 

1 Cough's Camden, vol. i. p. 130. 

• St. John, Four Conquests, vol. i. pp. 298, 299 ; Turner, Angio-Saxons, 
vol. i. p. 398 ; Gough*s Camden, voL ii. p. 68. 
' Cough's Camden, vol. L p. 103. 
4 Chalmers, Caledonia^ voL 1. p. 125. 
» Cough's Camden, voL ii. p. 197, 
« Ibid. vol. i. p. 256. 
Chalmers, Caledonia, voL i. pp. 148, 176. 


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Eponyntic Names, 305 

CATERTHUN, a remarkable Celtic fortress which over- 
looks Strathmore, is no doubt ** Battle Hill." The 
numerous Cat Stanes in Scotland are supposed to be 
memorials of battles. Such are the CATT STANE in 
Kirkliston parisUt and the CAIG STONE near Edinburgh.* 
From the Anglo-Saxon campy battle, we have a few names 
like CAMPTON and KEMPSTON in Bedfordshire.* 

In the case of several of these battle-fields we find 
traditions which assign a local habitation to the names 
of British chieftains or Anglo-Saxon kings. It is pos- 
sible that in some of these instances minute fragments 
of historic truth have been conserved, but it is needless 
to say that the greatest caution must be exercised as to 
the conclusions which we allow ourselves to draw. The 
traditions are generally vague and obscure, and the 
personages whose names are associated with these sites 
have often only a mythical, or, to speak technically, an 
eponymic existence. This convenient phrase is used to 
convey the suggestion that a personal name has been 
evolved by popular speculation to account for some geo- 
graphical term, the true meaning of which has not been 

A full discussion of this subject would form a curious 
and important chapter in what we may call the history 
of History. 

Most nations have supposed themselves to be de- 
scended from some mythical or eponymic ancestor. The 
Lydians, the Phoenicians, the Pelasgians, the Dorians, 

1 The name of the Caturiges, " the battle kings/ and the personal names 
of Catullus, Cadwallon, Cadwallader, St. Chad, and Katleen, contain this 
word. See Zeuss, Grammatica Cdtica, vol. i. p. 6 ; Yonge, Christian Namesy 
vol. ii. p. 93 ; Wilson, Pre-histaric Annals of Scotland^ pp. 95, 412 ; Monk- 
faotise. Etymologies^ p. 58. 

* Monkhonse, Etymologies^ pp. 6, 20. 

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3o6 Historic Sites. 

the iEolians, the Hellenes, the Sicilians, and the Italians, 
have respectively traced themselves to mythical per- 
sonages whom they called Lydus, Phcenix, Pelasgus, 
Dorus, iEolus, Hellen, Siculus, and Italus. Rome was 
said to have been built by Romulus; Nineveh by 
Ninus ; Memphis by Menes. When we come down to 
a later time we are encountered by the still more 
extravagant absurdities which fill the pages of 
Geoffrey of Monmouth, Layamon, Wace, Matthew 
Paris, and Matthew of Westminster, by whom the 
origin of all the nations and cities of Europe is traced 
to heroes of the Trojan war. We are gravely told that 
France takes its name from Francus, a son of Hector, 
and Britain from Brute, Prydain, or Pryd, a son of 
-^neas ; that Lisbon (OUsipo) was built by Ulysses ; 
and Paris by the well-known son of Priam. Tours was 
the burial-place of a Trojan named Turonus, and Troyes 
was, of course, a colony from Troy. Nuremberg was 
built by Nero, and Prussia takes its name from one 
Prussus, a brother of Augustus. But these are modest 
pretensions when compared with that of the Scots, who 
claimed to be descended from Scota, a daughter of 
Pharaoh, while the Saracens are assigned to Sarah the 
wife of Abraham.^ 

These wild absurdities are mostly the creation of 
authors of a late date, and seldom conceal any esoteric 

1 See a series of papers by Pott, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift fur VergUicK 
Sprachforschung^ entitled "Mytho-Etymologie;" Grimm, Geschichie d, 
DaU, Spr. pp. 776, 784 ; Buckle, History of Crvilization^ vol. i. pp. 2S4 — 
286, 295 ; Wright, on "Geoffrey of Monmouth," Essays^ vol. i. p. ai6 ; 
Lewis, Credibility of Early Roman History^ vol. i. p. 278; Welsford, Engiisk 
Long*^g^% PP* 6 — 16 ; Movers, Die Fhonizier, part ii. vol. ii. p. 297 ; Ver- 
siegsm^ Restitution^ p. 102; Davies, Celtic Researches^ pp. 167, 169; Butt- 
mann, Mythologus, vol. i.pp. 219 ; vol. ii. pp. 172 — 193. 


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Myths of early English History. yyj 

truths. The case is often different with the earliest 
legends. Thus we are told that Pedias was the wife of 
Cranaus, one of the mythical kings of Attica. Under 
this disguise we recognise a statement of the fact that 
Attica is formed by the union of the mountain district 
(xpava^, rocky), and the plain (TreStay, level).^ 

But the extravagances of Geoffrey of Monmouth, or 
the more recondite myths of Grecian history, concern us 
less nearly than the eponymic names which fill the 
earlier pages of Beda and the Saxon Chronicle. These 
narratives are still regarded as historical by the great 
mass of half-educated Englishmen,' who seem to have 
hardly a conception that, in the ordinary school histories 
of England, the chapter " On the arrival of the Saxons** 
relates the deeds of personages who, in all probability, 
have only an eponymic existence. 

To take a few instances. The name of PORTSMOUTH 
undoubtedly dates from the time when the commodious 
harbour was used as a porttis by the Romans. But 
when we read in the Saxon Chronicle that Portsmouth 
derives its name from a Saxon chieftain of the name of 
Port, who landed there, we conclude at once that the 
name of Port is eponymic, that no such personage ever 
existed except in the imagination of some early histori- 
cal speculator. Again, CARISBROOKE, in the Isle of 
Wight, was anciently written Wiht-gara-byrig, Respect- 
ing the etymology of this name there can be little 
doubt.^ Wiht is a corruption of Vectis, the Roman 

^ See a paper by J. K[enriclc], in the Philological Museum^ vol. ii. p. 359; 
Pott, "Mytho-Etymologie," in Kuhn*s Zeitschrift, vol. ix. p. 403. 

« A well-known M.P. has lately, before a London audience, gravely re- 
produced the still more extravagant absurdities of Layamon and Geoffrey as 
veritable English history ! 

* Seep. ^, supra. 

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3o8 Historic Sites. 

name of the island. The inhabitants of the island would 
be called Wiht-ware, and the chief town of the island 
would be called Wiht-gara-byrig^ *'the burgh of the 
men of Wight," just as Canterbury, or Cant-wara-byrig, 
is "the burgh of the men of Kent." But when the 
Saxon Chronicle asserts that Wiht-gara-byrig was the 
burgh of a Saxon chief named Wihtgar, who was buried 
there, we can entertain no doubt that the name of Wiht- 
gar, like that of Port, is eponymic.^ But we should 
undoubtedly be wrong were we to extend our scepticism 
to some other cases. For instance, we read in a later 
and more historical portion of the Saxon Chronicle, and 
in the Latin version which bears the name of Florence, 
that King Harthacnut drank himself to death at a feast 
which Osgod Clapha, one of the great nobles of Wessex, 
gave in his house at Lambeth to celebrate the marriage 
of his daughter Gytha with Tovi the Proud. In this 
case there is a very high probability that the London 
suburb of CLAPHAM takes its name from the ham of the 
Saxon thane. 

Or to take another case of a somewhat different cha- 
racter. Near Christchurch, in Hampshire, there is a 
place called TYRRELL'S FORD, around which a tradition 
used to linger that here Tyrrell passed on the day of 
the death of Rufus.* There is nothing intrinsically im- 
probable about this tradition, and Tyrrell is certainly 
not an eponymus. We may even go so far as to lend 
an ear to the assertion that Jack Cade was killed at CAT 
STREET, near Heathfield in Sussex — especially when we 
find that the name was anciently written Cade Street' 

1 See Latbam, En^ish Language, vol. L pp. 37 — 40. 
' Aubrey, quoted in Cough's Camden, vol. i. p. 187. 
• Ibid, vol i. p. 295. 


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Hengist and Horsa. 309 

Bearing in mind, then, the necessity of great caution 
as to the eponymic character of many of the heroes 
who figure in Beda and the Saxon Chronicle, we may 
proceed to enumerate a few of the more conspicuous of 
the localized traditions of the Saxon conquest. 

Whether tht names of Hengist and Horsa are wholly 
eponymic, or whether there remains a substratum of 
historic fact, after all due concessions have been made 
to the demands of modem criticism, is a question re- 
specting which scholars are not agreed. But we find 
their names in many places. Thus at HEliGlSTBURY 
HEAD on the Hampshire coast, there is a large funeral 
barrow protected by an entrenchment ; and a tumulus 
of flints at HORSTED, in Sussex, is said to mark the 
sepulchre of Horsa.^ There is also a mound near the 
castle wall of Conisbrough which bears the name of 
Hengist. Camden asserts that it was his tomb ; and 
we learn from Polydore Virgil that in the sixteenth 
century a local tradition still survived respecting a great 
battle which had been fought upon the spot.* Henry 
of Huntingdon informs us that Hengist and. Horsa 
fought a battle with the Picts and Scots at Stamford, in 
Lincolnshire. A local tradition affirms that the Saxons 
came from Kent by sea, and landed near Peterborough, 
after sailing up the Nene. This tradition is supported 
by the fact, that at about two miles from Peterborough 
there is an ancient entrenchment which goes by the name 
of HORSEY HILL.^ There is a camp near Chesterford in 

1 Lappcnberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, voL i. p. 72 ; Cough's Camden, vol. u 
pp. 3", 336. 

s Haigh, Conquest of Britain, p. 257. This is an uncritical work, but 
contains a large store of carefully collected, and sometimes valuable facts. 

» Ibid, p, 209. 


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310 Historic Sites, 

Essex, called HINGESTON barrows.^ We have also the 
names of HINKSEY near Oxford, anciently Hengestesige ; 
HENSTRIDGE in Somerset, anciently Hengestesricg ;^ 
HINXWORTH in Hertfordshire, dincicxitXy Haingesteworde; 
and HENGESTON, anciently Hengestesduriy in Cornwall. 
There are many other names of the same class. The 
numerous Horsleys and Hinkleys,' are probably only 
forest leys or pastures for horse or steed {hengst). Other 
names, such as two Horsteads in Sussex, and one in Nor- 
folk, Horsham in Sussex and in Norfolk, Horsey in Nor- 
folk, and Horsell in Sussex, certainly seem specially to con- 
nect some person, or persons, bearing the name of Horsa 
with the two English counties of Sussex and Norfolk.* 

According to the Saxon Chronicle the kingdom of 
the South Saxons was founded by iElle and his three 
sons, Cymen, Wlencing, and Cissa. If these names are 
not altogether eponymic, as is probably the case, the 
account in the Chronicle receives very remarkable con- 
firmation from local names. The landing is said to 
have taken place at KEYNOR in Selsea, anciently Cymenes- 
ora^ or Cymen's shore, where we may suppose the 
eldest son was left to guard the ships while the father 
and the brothers advanced into the interior.' We find 

^ GongVs Camden, voL ii. p. 141. 

* Codex Dipt. No. 1002. 

s Horsley in Surrey and Derby, Horseley in Gloucester and Stafford, and 
three in Northumberland ; Hursley in Hants (Horsanleah, Cod, Dipt, 
Na 180), and Hinkley in Leicester. 

4 We have also Hinxton in Cambridgeshire, Hensting in Hants, Hincks- 
ford in Stafford, Hinxhill in Kent, Hinckford in Essex, Hinchcliff in 
Yorkshire, as well as Horsey Isle in Essex, Horsall in Surrey, Horsdun in 
Hants, and many other similar names. See Haigh, Conqutst of Britain^ 
p. 151. 

* See Dugdale, MonaH, Ang, vol. vi. p. 1163 ; Cod, Dipl, Na 992. 

* CUMNOR in Berks was anciently Ctanenora, Cod, Dipt, No. 214; 
Di^dale, Afonast. Ang. vol. i. p. 527. 


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Cissa and Cerdic, 3 1 1 

the name of iElle at ELSTEAD in Sussex and ELSTEAD 
in Surrey.^ The name of LANCING near Shoreham is 
certainly very remarkably coincident with that of Wlen- 
cing. The name of Cissa may be sought at CISSBURY, a 
rude camp on a lofty hill near Worthing,^ as well as 
at another camp in Wiltshire called CHISBURY ; also 
at CISSANHAM^ in Hampshire, and at CHICHESTER, 
anciently Cissan-ceastery the " fortress of Cissa," who, 
according to the Chronicle, succeeded in taking the old 
Roman city, and made it the capital of his kingdom of 
the South Saxons.* 

The kingdom of Wessex was founded, we are told, by 
Cerdic, through whom Queen Victoria claims to be 
lineally descended from Woden ! The name of Cerdic 
we find at charford, anciently Cerdices-ford, where 
was fought the decisive battle which gave the Saxons 
the supremacy as far west as the Hampshire Avon.^ 
The name of LICHMERE, the moor of corpses, not far 
from Charford, seems to mark the precise locality of the 
struggle, and is of a more historic character than many 
of the rest* The nephew of Cerdic was the eponymic 

^ There was another iElIe, foander of the Anglian kingdom of North- 
nmbria. To him we may perhaps refer Ellakirk, EUaby, EUard, Ellerbeck, 
'Ellerbum, and other Yorkshire names. Ellescroft is said to be the burial 
place of the iElle who was killed in a battle with Regner Lodbrook. 
'Woraaae, Dams, p. 33. 

• Gough*s Camden, vol. i. p. 27a 
» Codex Diplom, No. 658. 

• Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. i. pp. 104 — 106 ; Saxon Chronicle, 
A-D. 490. There are the remains of a Saxon camp at Chichester. 

' Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 519; Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. i. 
p. 109. The locality of Cerdices-ora, where the Chronicle (a.d. 514) asserts 
that Cerdic landed, has not been satisfactorily identified. Perhaps it may 
be Charmouth in Dorset. See Haigh, Conquest rf Britain, p. 312 ; Turner, 
Anglo-Saxons, vol. i. p. 271. 

• Gough*s Camden, vol. i. p. 178. 


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3 1 2 Historic SiUs. 

Wihtgar of Carisbrooke Castle, whose claims to an his- 
torical existence have already been discussed. 

In SEWARDSTONE near Waltham Abbey we have, 
perhaps, the name of Seward, king of the East Saxons ; 
and Offa, another king of the same people, had a palace 
and a tomb at OFFLEY near Hitchin.^ Another Offa, king 
of the Mercians, had a palace at OFFENHAM in Wor- 
cestershire, and in 773 he is said to have gained a victory 
over Eadmund, king of Kent, at OTFORD on the Darent 
The name of Wuffa, king of the East Angles, may 
perhaps be found at UFFORD in Suffolk, rendlesham, 
in the same county, was in the seventh century the resi- 
dence of Redwald, another king of the East Angles. 
Among other Anglian traditions we are told that king 
Atla of Norfolk was the founder of attlebury,* and 
that the name of Bebbe, the queen of Ida of Northum- 
bria, is to be found in Bebban-burh, npw BAMBOROUGH, 
near Berwick-upon-Tweed.* Oswald, a Christian prince 
of Mercia, gave his name to OSWESTRY. The strong 
natural fortress of EDINBURGH bears the name of Edwin, 
king of Northumbria, who extended his kingdom to the 
shores of the Forth.* 

Ammianus Marcellinus, a more trustworthy authority 
than the earlier portion of the Saxon Chronicle, says, 
that Valentinian sent over to Britian one Fraomarius, 
the king of the Bucinobantes, an Alemannic tribe near 
Mayence. These names are perhaps preserved at 
BRAMERTON and four BUCKENHAMS, all in Norfolk.* 

^ Knapp, English Roots^ pp. ii, 12 ; Gough's Camden, vol. ii. p. 66. 
' Lappenbeig, Angio-Saxon Kings^ vol. i. p. Ii6, 
' Ibid. p. 119; Saxon Chronicle^ a.d. 547, 

* Dbcon, Fasti Ebor, vol. i. p. 44, 

• Haigh, Conquest,"^, 163, 


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McLes Garmoiu 313 

Attempts have been made to identify the spots selected 
for an abode by other less distinguished settlers. The 
results are of course highly conjectural, to say the least, 
but they are perhaps sufficiently curious to justify the 
insertion of a few specimens in a note.^ 

The British traditions conserved in local names are 
often more trustworthy than those of the Saxon period. 
There is a high probability that MAES GARMON near 
Mold was the scene of the famous Alleluia victory, which 
was obtained by St. Garmon over the Picts. The good 
bishop placed the members of his church militant in 
ambush, and when the invaders were fairly entangled in 
the intricacies of the valley, a loud shout of Alleluia 
from the Welsh created a panic which enabled them to 
gain an easy but decisive victory.^ 

^ Thus we have — 
Personal name. Ancient local name. Modem local name. 

I Hannodestone {Domesday) .... Harmstone, Lincoln, 
Heremod . } Hermodesthorpe (Domesday) • • . Harmthorpe, Lincoln, 
( Hennodesworde (Domesday) . . ♦ Harmondswortb,^7V. 
Heorogar . Herigerby (Domesday) Harrowby, Lincoln, 

IHelgiby (Domesday) Hellaby, Yorks, 
Helgefelt (Domesday) Hellifield, Yorks. 
Halgefonie(CW:/?i>.No.483) . . HaUiford, iV/*/. 
Halganstok (Cod, Dip, No. 701) . . Halstock, Dorset. 
Wsermund 5 Waermundeshlaew(Ci7</.Z>/j^.No. 1368) Warmlow, Worces. 
' { Wsermundesham ( CW. Dip, No. 18.) . Mimdham, Sussex. 
Scylf . . Scylftun(an/.Z>i>. No. 775) . . . ShJlton, Ox/ord. 
Bcdca . . Bedan ford (Saxon Chronicle) . , . Bedford. 
Childeric . Hildericesham (Domesday) .... Hildersham, York. 

At Navistock, in Essex, and Navesby, in Northamptonshire, we seem to 
have a name like that of Hnsef, which we find in the Traveller's Tale. At 
Ripley, in Yorkshire, we have a founder Hryp, and there are also local 
names which have been supposed to refer to the semi-historic personages 
who were called Air, Beonset, Beowa, Brada, Cynfar, Fear, Hlyd, Hraefii, 
Hungar, Naegel, Pendere, Sumser, &c — See Haigh, Conquest, pp. 150 — 160. 
• Beda, Hist, Ecc, book i. cap. 20; Haigh, Conqtust, p. 238; St. John, 

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3 14 Historic Sites. 

The CARADOC, the most picturesque of the Shropshire 
hills, is crowned by an earthwork bearing the name of 
Caer Cafadoc, and here, as tradition affirms, was the 
stronghold of Caractacus.^ 

A camp near Verulamium, called OISTER HILLS, has 
been supposed to bear the name of the Roman general 
Ostorius,^ and we have a CiESAR's CAMP near Famham, 
and a Vespasian's camp in Wiltshire. 

Chilham in Kent was anciently called 7«/ham, and 
is supposed to be the site of the battle fought by Julius 
Caesar, in which Laberius was slain. This supposition is 
curiously corroborated by a tradition which calls a large 
tumulus in the neighbourhood by the name of JU LASER'S 

According to the Chronicles, it fell to the lot of 
Catigern, a Kentish chieftain, to oppose the earliest 
invasion of the Saxons. We are told that he fought a 
battle with the forces of Hengist and Horsa, in the 
neighbourhood ojf Aylesford. On the summit of the 
downs which overlook the battle-field, there is a Celtic 
tomb, constructed of vast Vertical and horizontal slabs of 
sandstone. This, the. mpst remarkable megalithic erec- 
tion in the south-eastern portion of the kingdom, goes 
by the name of KITS COTY HOUSE, and may not impro- 
bably bear the name of the British prince.* 

Four Conquests of England, vol. L p. $6; Recs, Welsh Sam/s, pp. 

121, 122. ' 

^ The real name of Caractacas was probably Cradock, which is sttD a 
common surname in the West of England. 

• Cough's Camden, vol. ii. pp. 63, 73; Hartshome, Salopia AnHqua^ 

p. 153. 

' Cough's Camden, vol. i. pp. 313, 353. 

* Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. i. p. 73 ; Gongh's Camden, voL i. 


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British Chief s. 315 

We also read that the body of Ambrosius, the successor 
of Vortigem, was buried, according to his dying request, 
at AMBRESBURY on Salisbury Plain.i 

In the year 945 the British population of Cumbria, 
under a chief who bore the name of Donald, made a 
final and unsuccessful attempt to shake off the Saxon 
yoke. A cairn at the summit of the desolate pass which 
leads from Keswick to Ambleside is called DUNMAIL- 
RAISE, and in all probability it marks the precise scene 
of the struggle with Eadmund, as well as the burial- 
place of the British leader.* 

In Stratheam there is a barrow which goes by the 
name of CARN-CHAINICHIN, that is, the Cairn of Ken- 
neth. This name no doubt preserves the memory of the 
burial-place of Kenneth IV. of Scotland, who in the year 
1003 was slain by Malcolm II. in a battle which was un- 
doubtedly fought in the near neighbourhood of the cairn.' 

An entrenchment on Barra Hill in Aberdeenshire 
bears the name of CUMMIN'S CAMP, and thus preserves 
the memory of the defeat of Comyn, Earl of Buchan, by 
Robert Bruce;* while DALRY, the "kings field," is the 
spot where John of Lorn defeated Bruce, and from 
whence he tracked him with blood-hounds, as is so 
inimitably told in the " Tales of a Grandfather." * 

The names of GIBRALTAR and TARIFA have already 
been noticed.* valetta, the port and chief town of 

1 Haigh, Conquest of Britain^ p. 264. There is a large camp in Epping 
Forest called Ambresbury Banks. 

* Palgrave, Engiish Commonwealth^ vol. 1. p. 442 ; Fe]*giison, Northmen 
in Cumberland^ pp. 15, 57. 

' Chalmers, CaUdoniay voL i p. 397. 

* Ibid. vol. L p. 90. 

* Skene, History of the Highlanders^ vol. ii. p. 109. 

* See p. 104, supra^ 


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3 1 6 Historic Sites. 

Malta, preserves the name of John Parisol de la Vallefte, 
the heroic Grand Master of the Knights of St John* 
Together with the suburb of VITTORIOSA it was founded 
in the year 1566, at the close of the memorable siege in 
which some 500 knights, assisted by 9,000 men at arms, 
successfully withstood for four months the assaults of an 
army of 30,000 Turks, until at last there survived only 
600 of the Christians, utterly worn out by the toils and 
perils of the siege,^ 

The rulers of the ancient world seem to have anxiously 
desired to stamp their names upon cities of their own 
creation. Of the fifteen cities upon which Alexander the 
Great bestowed his name, only six retain it, and only 
two still possess any geographical importance. The 
name of Alexandria in Egypt has been corrupted into 
the Arabic form of ISCANDERIEH, and Alexandria in 
Bokhara is now SAMERCAND. The city of Alexandria 
which was built near the battle-field of Issus, though 
now a miserable village, has given a name to the Bay of 


CANDAHAR Still maintain an obscure existence.* 

Antiochus and Seleucus, and the princes of their 
dynasties, followed the example of their great captain, 
but while the once important name of SELEUCIA* has 

^ Porter, Knights of Malta, vol. iL pp. 70 — 166. One of the gates of 
Valetta is called the Port des Bombea, from its bearing the marks of the 
cannonade which took place when the French were attacked by the English 
and Maltese. 

' ALESSANDRIA, an important fortress in Piedmont, takes its name from 
a Roman Pope. Several places in Russia and Siberia are called alxxan- 
DROV and Alexandria, from the Russian Emperor. See Yonge, Christian 
Nanus^ voL L p. 200. 

* There were seven cities called Seleucia. The only one that retains the 
name is Seleucia in Cilicia, now Selefkieh. 


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AlexamUr — Casar — Augustus. 317 

vanished from the map, Antioch,i now ANTAKIEH, still 
ranks among the cities of the East. 

Philippi, now FELIBEDJIK, built by the father of Alex- 
ander, would be now forgotten were it not for the epistle 
addressed by St. Paul to its inhabitants; and the 
mention of PHILADELPHIA in the Apocalypse still causes 
us to bear in mind that it was built by Attalus Phila- 
delphus, king of Pergamus. 

The names of the Roman Emperors are scattered 
over Europe, and some of them are found under very 
curious phonetic disguises. Who would expect, for in- 
stance, to find the name of Caesar in JERSEY, a name 
which nevertheless is probably a corruption of Csesarea.^* 
In the East the phonetic changes have been less; the 
Oesareas in Palestine and Cilicia are now called KAIS- 
ARIYEH ; and KESRI, on the Dardanelles, is probably a 
corruption of the same name. The city of Caesarea Jol, 
built by Juba in honour of Augustus, is now ZERSHELL 
in Algeria.' Two of the most curious of these transmu- 
tations are Caesarea Augusta into zaragossa, and Pax 
Augusta into BADAJOZ. Augusta Emerita has been 
clipped down into MERIDA. Augustodunum is now 
AUTUN, and Augusta is aosta and AUGIA. We find 
the same Imperial name preserved in AUGSBURG, AUGST 
in Canton BAle and Canton Zurich,* AOUST in the 

1 There were ten cities called Antiochia. 

a The names of guernsey and Cherbourg are possibly to be traced to 
a similar origin, as well as Jerbourg in Guernsey ; though it is more pro- 
bable that the first is Norse, and that the root of the two latter is the Celtic 
word CVmt. Latham, Channel Isles, pp. 429, 452 5 Notes and Queries, 
second series, vol vl p. 163. 

• Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography, a. v. Jol ; Quarterly 
Review, xcix. p. 341. 

^ Meyer doubts this. See Ortsnamen des JC, Zurich^ p. 76. 


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3 1 9 Historic Sites] 

department of the Dr6me, AUCH near Toulouse, and 
the AUST passage over the Severn. 

The names of Julius and Julia we have in LOUDON 
(Juliodunum), BEJA in Portugal (Pax Julia), TRUXILLO 
in Spain (Turris Julia, or Castra Julia), JOLICH or 
JULIERS (Juliacum), the valley of ZSIL (Julia) in Hun- 
gary, pronounced Jil, ZUGLIO (Julium), ITUCCI, (Victus 
Julius), and LILLEBONNE (Julia bona); while FRIULI, 
FORLI, and FREJUS are all corruptions of Forum Julii. 
bear the names of the Emperors Aurelian, Valentinian, 
Gratian, and Hadrian, by whom they were respectively 
founded or rebuilt Forum Aurelii is now FIORA, Aurelia 
is ORLEANS,^ Claudii Forum is KLAGENFURT, and PAM- 
PELUNA and LODI (Laus Pompeii) bear the name of 
Pompey. TIBERIAS, in Palestine, was built by the 
younger Herod (Antipas) in honour of his imperial 
friend and master. Constantius Chlorus gave his name 
to CONSTANCE or CONSTANTZ on the Boden See, and to 
COUTANCES (Constantia) in Normandy, where Roman 
antiquities are still occasionally found. The surrounding 
district, now called the C6TANTIN, exhibits very curiously 
a parallel but independent corruption of the name Con- 
stantinum. KUSTENDJE is the Turkish corruption of 
Constantiana. CONSTANTINEH is the strongest place 
In Algeria. Constantine, the son of Constantius, had a 
palace a few miles from Treves, at a place fiow called 
CONZ, a name which, after a long eclipse, is again becom- 
ing audible among men, in the novel character of a great 
railway junction. I could not but think, as I once 
whiled away a tedious hour in the waiting-room at Conz, 

^ The form of the modem name suggests that the place must have onli- 
narily been called Aureliana, rather than Aurelia. 


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Emperors and Kings, 3 19 

of the waiting-rooms on the same spot once thronged by 
the nobles of Western Europe, worshipping the rising 
sun, who was afterwards to imprint his name on CON- 
STANTINOPLE, the new capital of the Roman world. 

Of the modem cities which are thus inscribed with 
the dates of their foundation, ST. PETERSBURG and 
VICTORIA, the capitals of two distant empires, occur at 
once to the memory. EKATERINENBURG was founded 
by the great Empress Catherine. CHRISTIANA, CHRis- 
TIANSTAD, and CHRISTIANSAND, are memorials of the 
subjection of Norway and Sweden to the crown of 
Denmark in the seventeenth century, during the reign 
of Christian IV. of Denmark. The little kinglets of 
Germany, otherwise unknown to fame, have not been 
slow in endeavouring to rescue their obscure names 
from oblivion by a geographical immortality of this 
kind. As we fly past upon the railway the names of 
WIGSBURG, or WILHELMSBAD may, perhaps, induce the 
traveller to endeavour to learn from his open Murray 
the deeds of the monarchs who have thus eagerly striven 
after fame. 

A far more inconvenient practice prevails in the 
United States, where the names of popular Presidents 
have been bestowed so liberally on towns and counties 
as to occasion no little confusion. There are no less 
than 169 places which bear the name of Washington, 86 
that of Jefferson, 132 that of Jackson, while Munroe and 
Harrison have respectively to be contented with 71 and 
62 places named in their honour.^ 

^ See Notes and Queries^ second series, voL i. p. 508. 


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320 Sacred Sites. 



Local Vestiges of Saxon Heathendom — ThOj Frea, Woden^ Thor, Balder — 
Cettk Deities— Teutonic Demigods— Wayland Smith—Old Scratch— Old 
Nick — The Nightmare — Sacred groves and temples — Vestiges of Sclat>onic 
Heathendom — The Classic Pantheon— Conversion of the Northern Nations 
•^Paulinus at Goodmanham—^* Uan " and ** Kit''— The Hermits of the 
Hebrides — Tlie Local Saints of Wales — Places of Pilgrimage — 7^ Monastic 

Day after day, as the weeks run round, we have obtruded 
upon our notice the names of the deities who were 
worshipped by our pagan forefathers. This heathenism 
is indeed so deeply ingrained into our speech, that we 
are accustomed daily, without a thought, to pronounce 
the sacred names of Tiw, Woden, Thunor, Frea, and 
Saetere.^ These names are so familiar to us, that we 
are apt to forget how little is really known of the mytho- 
logy of those heathen times. We have, it is true, 
Beowulf and the Traveller's Song, the verse Edda, and 
other parallel Norse and Teutonic legends, but the 
Anglo-Saxon literature dates only from the Christian 
period, and proceeds mostly from the pens of Church- 

^ On the names of the days of the week, see Mone, Gesch, Heidentkums, 
vol. ii. p. 1 10; Turner, Anglo-Saxons, vol. ii. p. 217; Trench, Stuffy of 
Words, p. 93 ; MUller, Alt-deut, Relig, pp. 86—88 ; Mannhardt, Giftter- 
wdt^ vol. i. p. 262. 


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The A nglo- Saxon Deities, 321 

men, who naturally preferred to recount thaumaturgic 
histories of Christian saints, and willingly allowed the 
pagan legends to die away out of the memories of men. 
So small, in fact, are the materials at pur disposal for an 
account of the Anglo-Saxon Pantheon, that the very 
name of Saetere is conjectural — it is not found in any 
literary document till long after the extinction of the 
Anglo-Saxon paganism — and it would almost appear 
that the name, the attributes, and the culte of this deity 
have been constructed in comparatively recent times, in 
order to illustrate the assumed etymolc^^ of the word 
Saturday.^ Our knowledge of Anglo-Saxon mythology 
being thus scanty, it will bear to be supplemented by 
the information which may be derived from local names. 
We may, in the first place, arrive at some vague 
estimate of the relative mythological importance of the 
various Anglo-Saxon deities by means of a comparison 
of the number of places which severally bear their names, 
and which were probably dedicated to their worship. 
Judging by this standard, we conclude that Tiw,^ Frea, 

1 That the worship of Saetere was very local, appears also from the fact 
that Saturday, as a name for the last day of the week, is found only in the 
Frisian, Anglo-Saxon, and other Low-German languages. Laugardagr^ 
the Norse equivalent for . Saturday, the Swedish Lordag^ and the Danish 
and Norwegian Loversdag, mean the washing-day, or laving-day ; if, 
indeed, they do not refer to the Scandinavian deity Loki. See Grimm, 
Deutsche Mythologii, pp. 115, 226 ; Kemble, Saxons^ vol. i. p. 372; Yonge, 
ChrUtian Names^ voL L p. 439 ; Donaldson, English Ethnography^ p. 67. 

« This word was used as the name of the Deity by all the Aryan nations. 
The Sanskrit dhfa^ the Greek M^ the Latin detis^ the Lithuanian dhvas^ 
the Erse dia^ and the Welsh dew are all identical in meaning. The etymo- 
logy of the word seems to point to the corruption of a pure monotheistic 
£aith« The Sanskrit word dydtts means the expanse of blue sky, the 
heaven. This sense is retained in the Latin word dies^ and in the phrase 
sub ycvefVaatit. open air. (Horace, Odes^ lib. L i. 25.) Jupiter, Diupiter, 
or Diespiter, is the "heavenly father." See Pictet, Orig, Indo-Eur. part ii. 
pp. 653, 663, 664 ; Bunsen, Philos, of Universal History^ vol. L p. 78 ; 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

322 Sacred Sites, 

and Saetere, had but a small hold on the religious 
affections of the people, for TEWESLEY in Surrey, Great 
TEW and TEW DUNSE in Oxfordshire, TEWIN in Hert- 
fordshire, DEWERSTONE^ in Devon, frathorpe and 
FRIDAYTHORPE 2 in Yorkshire, FRAISTHORPE in Holder- 
ness, FREASLEY^ in Warwickshire, three FRIDAYSTREETS 
in Surrey, and one in Suffolk, SATTERLEIGH in Devon, 
and SATTERTHWAITE in Lancashire, seem to be the 
only places which bear their names. 

But of the prevalence of the worship of Woden and 
Thunor, we have wide-spread evidence. WEDNESBURY 
in Staffordshire, WISBOROW Hill in Essex, WANBOROUGH 
in Surrey, WANBOROUGH in Wilts, two WARNBOROUGHS 
in Hampshire, WOODNESBOROUGH in Kent * and Wilts, 
and WEMBURY in Devon, are all corruptions of the 
Anglo-Saxon word Wodnesbeorh^ a name which indicates 
the existence of a mound or other similar erection dedi- 
cated to Woden.* WANSTROW in Somerset was formerly 

Edinburgh RevieWy vol. xdv. pp. 334 — 338 ; Mannhardt, Cotterwdt^ voL 
i. pp. 57, 69 ; Buttmann, Mythologus, voL ii. p. 74 ; MiQler, Ali-dcut. JRdig, 
pp. 223, 225 ; Kelly, Curiosities^ p. 29 ; Max MUller, Lectures, second 
series, p. 425. 

1 In Saxe Weimar we have Tisdorf and Zeisberg ; in Hesse, Diensbexg 
and Zierenberg ; in Bavaria, Zierberg ; in Zeeland, Tisvelae ; in JuUand, 
Tystathe and Tiislunde ; in Sweden, Tistad, Tisby, Tisjo, and Tyred. 
Grimm, Deutsche Mythol, p. 180 ; Miiller, Alt-deut. Rdigion^ p. 87 ; 
Vilmar, Ortsnamen, p. 244 ; Knobel, Volkertafel^ p. 41 ; Mannhardt, 
Gotterwelt, vol. i. p. 262. 

• An elaborate account of Frekkenhorst, a chief German seat of the 
worship of Frigge, or Frea, is given by Massmann, in Dorow*s DenkmaUr^ 
pp. 199 — ^203. We have also Frekeleve near Magdeburg, Freyenwald ou 
the Oder, and Freyenburg in Belgium. MUller, Alt-deut, Rd. p. 121 ; 
Salverte, Essai sur les Notnsy vol. ii. p. 238. 
8 Fraisthorpe and Freasley are more probably Frisian settlements. 
* Close to Woodnesborough is a tumulus called Winsborough. 
8 Kemble, Saxons^ vol. i. p. 344 ; Haigh, Conquest of Britain^ p. 141 ; 
^Ionis, Local Names^ p. 8 ; Guest, in Archecolog. Joumaly voL xvL p. 107. 


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Local Vestiges of Saxon Heathendom, 323. 

Wodnestreow, and WAKSDIKE in Wiltshire was Wodnes* 
die. WODEN HILL on Bagshot Heath, WONSTON in 
Hampshire, WAMBROOK in Dorset, WEDNESHOUGH in 
Lancashire, WAMPOOL in Cumberland, WANSFORD in 
Northamptonshire, and another place of the same name 
in the East Riding, WANSTEAD in Essex, WAMDEN in 
Bucks, WADLEY in Berks, two WANSLEYS and WEDNES- 
FIELD in Staffordshire, WENDON in Essex and in Somer- 
set, WEDESLEY in Derbyshire, WEDNESHAM in Cheshire, 
WANTHWAITE in Cumberland, and WONERSH in Surrey, 
with other more doubtful names of the same class, 
enable us to form some estimate of how wide was the 
diffusion of Woden's worship.^ 

The Scandinavian Thor was worshipped by the Anglo- 
Saxons under the name of Thunor, a name identical with 
the English thunder and the German equivalent 2)onnf r.* 

^ In Germany we have Godesberg, near Bonn, anciently Wodenesberg ; 
Gudensberg, in Hesse, anciently Wuodenesbexg, as well as another Gudens- 
bctg, and a Gudenberg ; also Godensholt, anciently Wodensholt, in Olden- 
burg ; Woensdrecht, near Antwerp, and Vaudemont, in Lorraine, anciently 
Wodani Mons. In Denmark we find Odensbeig; Onsbeig, anciently 
Otheosbeig ; Onsjo, anciently Othansharet ; Onsala, anciently Othansftle ; 
Onaley, anciently Othanslef ; Odinsey, on the island of Funen ; and in 
Norway, Onso, anciently Odinsey. Grimm, Deut. Myth, pp. 133, 140, 144 ; 
Vilmar, Ortsnatrun^ p. 244 ; Bender, Detttscken Ortsnamen, pp. 107, io8 ; 
Mone, Gesch, Heidenthums^ voL i. p. 269; vol. ii. p. 154. On the occur- 
rence of the names of Woden and Thunor in the Saxon Charters, see 
Kemble, Codex Dip, voL liL p. xiiL 

* The identity of Thunor and Indra has been proved by Mannhardt, by 
a laborious comparison of the Teutonic and Indian myths. Germ. Mytheit^ 
pp. I — 242. The names also of Indra and Donnor, different as they may 
seem, are, no doubt, ultimately identical. We have seen (p. 207, supra) 
that udra and %tdan are related Sanskrit words, meaning water. The first 
gives us the name of Indra, the second that of Donnor or Thunor, both of 
whom are the storm and rain gods ; both were bom out of the water, both 
fin the rivers, and pour the milk of the doud-cows of heaven upon the 
earth. See Mannhardt, Germ. Myth. pp. 3, 38, 50, 143, 147, 213, 216; 

Y 2 

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324 Sacred Sites. 

We find traces of the worship of the Saxon god in the 
names of THUNDERSFIELD in Surrey, two places called 
THITNDERSLEIGH in Essex, and one in Hants, as well as 
THUNDRIDGE in Herts, and THUNDERHILL in Surrey.^ 
To the name of Thor ive may assign THURSLEY in 
Surrey, THURLEIGH in Bedfordshire,^ KIRBY THORE in 
Westmoreland, THURSCROSS in Yorkshire, THURSTON 
in Suffolk, THURSTABLE and THURLOW in Essex, THURS- 
FIELD in Staffordshire, THURSFORD in Norfolk, TURS- 
in Cumberland, THURSO in Caithness, TORNESS in 
Shetland, and THORIGNY in Normandy, all of which, 
as we have seen, are in regions settled more or less by 
Scandinavian colonists." In some of these cases it is 
probable that the name may have been derived from 
some Viking who bore the name of Thor* The Anglo- 
Saxon names, however, are not liable to this ambiguitj% 

Mannhardt, GoUerwdt^ voL i. p. 61 ; Max Miiller, Lectures, second seiies, 
p. 430. 

^ The little scholars who enjoy catching a great scholar tripping, may 
amuse themselves with Mr. Kemble*s attempt to find an allusion to the 
Thunderer's Hammer, in the Hammer ponds in Surrey ; the iaxX bdug, 
that the name originated frum some ironworks now disused 

> There is a remarkable tumulus in the middle of the village called Buy 

9 On the continent we find Thtmeresberg, in Westphalia, where stands 
a sacred oak, under which, to this day, an annual festival is held ; Doo- 
nersbeig, near Worms, anciently Thoneresberg ; Donnerkaute and Don- 
nersgraben in Hesse ; Donnersreut in Franconia ; Donnerbiihel in Berne ; 
Donnersted in Brunswick ; Donershauk in Thuringia ; Thorsborg in 
Gothland ; Donnerschwee, anciently Donerswe i^e, holyX in Oldenburg ; 
Donnersbach in Styria ; Torslunde»(/»;f</r, a sacred groveX and Thorsbro 
in Denmark ; and Th6isbidrg, Th6rBhofh, and others, in Norway. Grimm, 
Deutsche Mytkol. pp. 64, 155, 169; Grimm, Namen Donners; Vilmar, 
Ortsnamen, p. 244 ; Mannhardt, Germanische Mythefty p. 235. 

4 In the case of several villages called Thursby this is the more probable 


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Celtic Deities, 325 

since it does not appear that any Anglo-Saxon — more 
timid, or more reverent than the Northman — ever dared 
to assume the name of the dreaded Thunor. 

Names like BALDERBY or BALDERTON, may probably 
be derived from the personal name Balder, rather than 
from that of the deity. Pol, another form of the name 
of the god Balder, is probably to be found in such 
names as POLBROOK, polstead, polsden and polsdon, 
as well perhaps as in BELL HILL, and HILL BELL. The 
last two names, however, are, more probably, vestiges of 
a still earlier cultus — Celtic, or possibly Semitic.^ It 
has been thought that there must have been some 
original connexion, etymologic or mythologic, between 
the Syrian Baal, the Celtic Bel or Belen, the Sclavonic 
Biel-bog, and the Teutonic PoL To the Celtic deity we 
may probably assign the local names of BELAN, near 
Trefeglwys in Montgomeryshire, BELAN near Newtown, 
two BELAN BANKS in Shropshire, and the BAAL HILLS 
in Yorkshire, besides three mountains called BELCH 
in the Vosges and the Black Forest.^ BALERIUM, the 
ancient name of the Land's End, may possibly be due 
to the Phoenicians. BEL TOR in Devon may be either 
Teutonic, Celtic, or Semitic. Several of the Devonshire 
Tors seem also to bear names derived from a primeval 
mythology. MIS TOR and HAM TOR have been supposed 
to bear Semitic names derived from Misor, the moon, 

* Grimm, Deutsche Mythol. pp. 208, 580; Leo, Vorlesungen^ vol. i. 
p. 205; Thierry, Hist, Gaul<nSy vol. il p. 77, 78; Miiller, Alt-detUsche 
Rd^ioHy pp. 253, 256 ; Ferguson, Northmen^ pp. 95, 98 ; Mone, Gesckichte 
Hadenthums, vol. ii. p. 345 ; Barth, Druiden^ p. 69, The Beltane fires 
are still kept up in the Isle of Man, and in Yorkshire. Train, Isle of Matty 
▼oL L p. 328. 

• Mone, Gesckichte Heidenthums^ vol. ii p. 337 j Barth, Druiden^ p. 86, 
Cf. Piderit, Ortsnanun^ p. 300, 


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326 Sacred Sites. 

and Ham or Ammon. The name of hessary TOR can 
with greater confidence be referred to the Celtic deity 
Esus or Hesus,! mentioned by Lucan — 

Teutates, horrensque fens altaribus Hesus, 
£t Taranis Scythicse non mitior ara Dianse.' 

The Celtic deity Taith referred to in these lines 
under the name of Teutates, must not be confounded 
with the Teutonic Tiw, though the names are probably 
not unconnected. Places called TOT HILL, TOOT HILL, 
or TOOTER HILL, are very numerous, and may possibly 
have been seats of Celtic worship.^ 

The word Easter, as we learn from Beda, is derived 
from the name of Eostre,* or OstSra, the Anglo-Saxon 
goddess of Spring, to whom the month of April was 
sacred. As in other instances the Catholic clergy seem 
to have given the heathen festival a Christian import, 
and to have placed " Our Lady " on the throne pre- 
viously occupied by the virgin goddess of the spring.* 
She seems to have bestowed her name on two parishes 
in Essex which are called GOOD EASTER,* and HIGH 

■ ^ Cf. the Sanskrit Asura, the supreme, self-existent Spirit, a name pn>* 
bably derived from a root flj=esse. A statue inscribed with the name of 
Esus was exhumed at Paris. Pictet, Orig'. Indo-Eur, part ii. p. 655 ; 
Barth, Druidenj p. 71 ; Prichard, Researches^ voL iiL p. 185 ; Thieny. 
HisL Gaulois^ vol. ii. p. 78. 

* JPharsaliay book i. L 445. 

* See Davies, in Philolog, Thins, for 1855, p. 219 ; Barth, Druiden^ p. 64 ; 
Thierry, Hist, Gaulois^ vol. ii. p. 78 ; Prichard, Researches^ voL iii. p. 185. 

4 Cf. the Sanskrit ushas^hxaoxv^ from a root ushy to bum or glow. 
Hence the Greek y^a^s, the Latin auster, the south, and the English mst, 
Grimm, Deut, Mythol, p. 266 ; Neus, in Zeitschrift fur Deui, Myth, voL 
iii. pp. 356 — 368 ; Pictet, Ortg, Indo-Eur. part ii. pp. 672 — 674 ; Leo, 
Rectitudines^ p. 206. 

* Mayhew, German Ufe^ voL ii. pp. 332, 377. 

^ In Domesday this name appears in the form ESTRA. good easter is 
probably the god Eostre. 


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Teutonic Demigods. 327 

EASTER; we find also the xnore doubtful names of 
EASTERFORD in the same county, EASTERLEAKE in 
Nottinghamshire, and EASTERMEAR in Hampshire. 

The name of Hel, the mistress of the gloomy under- 
world, seems to be confined to Yorkshire ; it may 
possibly be preserved in the names of HELLIFIELD, HEL- 
LATHYRNE, .hel with, two HEALEYS, HEAUGH, and 
HELAGH, all in Yorkshire.^ HELWELL in Devonshire 
is probably only the covered well, the word hell origin- 
ally meaning only the " covered " place. Thus a wound 
heals when it becomes covered with skin. The heel is 
that part of the foot which is covered by the leg. A 
helmet covers the head. The hull is the covered part of 
a ship. To hele potatoes is to clamp or tump them. 
In Kent to heal a child is to cover it up in its cradle, 
and to Ileal a house is to put on the roof or covering. 
A hellier is a slater. 

Of the mythic heroes of Scandinavian legend, the 
name of Weland, the Northern Vulcan, who fabricates 
the arms of the heroes of the early Sagas, is preserved 
at a place in Berkshire called WAYLANDSMITH. Here, 
appropriately placed at the foot of that sacred HILL OF 
THE WHITE HORSE, which from immemorial times has 
borne the colossal symbol of Saxon conquest, there still 
stands the structure which our ancestors called Weland*s 
forge,^ a huge megalithic monument, consisting of two 
chambers constructed of upright stones and roofed with 
large slabs. Here the hero-smith was supposed to fabri- 
cate shoes for the sacred horse. Though bearing a 

1 We have Helgiaben, Helwald, Helleberg, and other similar names in 
Germany. Panzer, DeuL Myth. p. 275. 

* In the charters the place is called Wdanda Smidde^ Wayland^s Forge. 
Codex Ditlatn, No. 1172. 


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328 Sacred Sites, 

Saxon name, and connected with a Saxon legend, it is 
doubtless only a Celtic grave.^ 

The name of Eigil, the hero-archer, is probably to be 
sought at AYLESBURY, formerly ^gksbyrig, as well 
perhaps as at AYLESFORD, aysworth, and aylstone.* 
ASGARDBY and AYSGARTH, however, probably refer to 
Asgard, the home of the gods. 

Curious legends often linger round the numerous 
places called the Devil's Dyke, the Devil's Punchbowl, 
and the like,* and results, not without value, might 
doubtless be obtained by a comparative analysis of the 
names of the various celebrated witch mountains.* 

A dark and rugged rock in the Lake District bears 
the name of SCRATCH MEAL SCAR. Here we may perhaps 
detect the names of two personages who figure in the 
Norse mythology, Skratti, a demon, and Mella, a weird 

^ Grimm, Deutsche MythoU p. 350 ; WilBon, Pre-hist Annals of Scot- 
iandy p. 210 ; Scott, Kenilworth, chap. xiii. and note ; Singer, Wayland 
Smithf p. XXXV. ; Wright, in JoumcU of Archaolog, Association^ voL xvi. 
pp. 50—58 ; Kemble, Saxons in England^ vol. i. pp. 419—421 ; Grimm, 
Neidensage, pp. 41, 322, 323 ; Gough's Camden, vol. i. p. 221. 

* Grimm, Deutsche MytkoL p. 349 ; Kemble, Saxons, vol. i. p. 422. 

' We find Teufelstein near Durkheim, Teufelsbeig in Bavaria, and Ten- 
felsmaner in Austria. See Panzer, Deut, Myth, pp. 46, 100, 204 ; Piderit, 
Ortsnamen, p. 301. There are also many places called Drachenfels, 
Drachenbogen, Drachenkammer, &c Panzer, Deut. Myth, p. 293; Grimm, 
HeldensagCy p. 316. "^ 

The chief of these are the Blocksberg, or Brocken, in the Haitz; 
several Blocksbergs in Mecklenburg ; the Huiberg near Halberstadt; the 
Horselberg in Thuringia ; the Bechelsberg in Hesse ; the Koterberg and 
the Weckingstein in Westphalia ; the Kandel, the Heuberg, and the 
Staffelstein in the Black Forest ; the Bischenberg and the Biichelberg in 
Alsace ; the Bl&kuUa (Black Mountain) in Sweden ; and the BlaakoUe in 
Norway. See Thorpe, Northern Mythology^ voL L p. 243 ; Grimm, Dent. 
Myth, p. 1004. Hanenkamm and Hanenbuck in Bavaria were places of 
heathen worship. Mone, Gesch, Heid, vol. ii. p. 218. Heidenbeig is the 
name of a hill near Zurich, down which on winter nights a headless horse* 
man is seen to ride. Meyer, Ortsnamen, p. 165. 


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Old Scratch— Old Nick 329 

giantess.1 There is also a SCRATTA WOOD on the borders 
of Derbyshire. The demon Skratti still survives in the 
superstitions of Northern Europe. The Skratt of Sweden, 
with a wild horse-laugh, is believed to mock travellers 
who are lost upon the waste, and sundry haunted rocks 
on the coast of Norway still go by the name of 
"SKRATTASKAR."2 In the north of England the name 
of Skratti continues to be heard in the mouths of the 
peasantry, and the memory of " Old Scratch," as he 
is/amiliarly called, may probably be yet destined to 
survive through many future Christian centuries, in com- 
pany with " Old Nick," who is none other than Nikr,' the 
dangerous water-demon of Scandinavian legend. This 
dreaded monster, as the Norwegian peasant will gravely 
assure you, demands every year a human victim, and 
carries off children who stray too near his abode beneath 
the waters. In Iceland also, Nykr, the water-horse, is 
still believed to inhabit some of the lonely tarns 
scattered over the savage region of desolation which 
occupies the central portion of the island. 

^ Grimm, Deutsche Mythologie, p. 493 ; Ferguson, Northmen^ p. 99 ; 
Edinburgh Review, vol. cxi. p. 386. Mella, when tired of the company of 
Skratti, had a separate abode on mcll fell ; unless, indeed, this name 
be Celtic rather than Scandinavian, and allied to the word tnullf a head- 
land, which we have in the Mull of Cantyre and other names. Or the 
name of Mell Fell may be from the Icelandic meiry a sandy hill. There is 
a Mcelifell in Iceland. 

« Grimm, Deut. Myth. p. 447 ; Thorpe, Northern Mythology, voL iL 
P- 95 ; vol L p. 25a The name of Skratti is found also in the Sarmatian 
l^ends. In Bohemian Screti means a demon. See Latham, English 
Language, vol. i. p. 360. 

» Norwegian n'ok, Swedish neck, German nix, plural nixen, English 
nixies, and old Nick. The name of the River Neckar probably comes 
from the same root. Thorpe, Northern Mythology, vol. i. p. 246 ; voL ii. 
p. 20 ; Grimm, Deut, Myth. p. 456 ; Kcmble, Preface to Translation oj 
Bebwulf, p. xvii. ;«Kemble, Saxons, vol. i. pp. 389 — 392 ; Laing, ffeims- 
kringkLy vol. i. p. 92 ; Baring-Gould, Iceland, p. 149. 


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330 Sacred Sites. 

Many similar traces of the old mythology are to be 
found in that well-stored antiquarian museum, the 
English language. In the phrase ** Deuce take it," 
the deity Tiw still continues to be invoked.^ The 
Bogie, with whose name nurses are wont to frighten 
children, is probably Bogu, the Sclavonic name of the 
Deity ,^ and the name of Puck has been referred to the 
same source.* The nursery legend of " Jack and Jill '* 
is found in the younger Edda, where the story of Hjuki 
(the flow) and Bil (the ebb), the two children of the 
Moon, IS seen to be merely an exoteric version of the 
flowing and ebbing of the tides.* The morning gossamer 
is the gott'Cymar^ the veil or trail left by the deity who 
has passed over the meadows in the night The word 
brag has an etymological connexion with the name of 
Bragi,* the Norse god of song and mirth, while the 
faithful devotees of Bragi fall after awhile under the 
power of Mara,® a savage demon, who tortures men with 
visions, and crushes them even to death, and who still 
survives, though with mitigated powers, as the Night- 
mare of modern days."^ 

^ Compare Augustine, De CivUate Dei, book xy. cap. 23, "quosdam 
dsemones quos dusios GalU nuncupant" 

> Sanskrit bhaga, god, the sun. Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. part ii. 
p. 654; Edinburgh Review, vol. xciv. p. 332. See, however, Davies, in 
Pkilolog. Proceed, vol. vi. p. 136 ; Notes and Queries, second series, voL xL 

p. 97. 

' » De Belloguet, Ethnog, vol. i. p. 222. 

* Grimm, Deut. Myth. p. 679 ; Miiller, Alt-deut, Rdig. p. 161 ; Baring- 
Gould, Iceland, p. 189. 

» Diefenbach, Vergleich, Worterh, voL i p. 266 ; Grimm, Deut. Myth. 
p. 215 ; Baring-Gould, Iceland, p. 161 ; Notes aftd Queries, second series, 
vol. V. p. 32. 

Thrupp, Anglo-Saxon Home, p. 263 ; Grimm, Deut. Myth, p. 215 ; 
Kelly, Curiosities, p. 240 ; Laing, Heimskringla, voL L p. 92. 

7 On the subject of the Teutonic and Scandinavian mythology, as iUus- 


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Detice — Bogie — Brag-^Nightmare, 331 

There is another class of names of sacred sites, those, 
namely, which are not associated with the names of 
particular deities. 

The name of REDRUTH in Cornwall is written in old 
deeds Dre-druith, the town of the Druids.^ From the 
Celtic nemety a sacred grove, we may deduce the name 
of NYMET ROWLAND in Devonshire, and of NISMES, 
anciently Nemausus, in Provence, as well as many 
ancient Gaulish names, such as Nemetacum or Neme- 
tocenna (Arras), Vememetum, and Tascinemetum. * 
LUND and LUNDGARTH, both in Holdemess, are pro- 
bably from the Norse lundr, a sacred grove.* The name 
of HOFF, near Appleby, seems to be from the Anglo- 
Saxon and old Norse kof, a temple.* The vast inclosure 
of SILBURY is probably the holy hill.* The names of 

trated by local names, the reader may consult Jacob Grimm, Deutsche 
Mythclogie, passim ; Buttmann, Die Deutschen Orisnamen^ pp. 162 — 169 ; 
Kemble, Anglo-Saxons, vol. i. p. 243 — 422 ; Ferguson, Northmen in Cum- 
berland, pp. 28, 95 ; Bender, Die Deutschen Ortsnamen, pp. 107, 108 ; Leo, 
Anglo-Saxon Names, p. 5 ; Panzer, Deutsche Mythologie ; Forstemann, 
Ortsnamen, p. 172 ; Worsaae, Danes and Norwegians, p. 69. A list of 
mythologie names in the Tyrol is given in a paper by Zingerle, in the 
Germania, vol. v. p. 108. 
^ Prycc, Arch. Comu-Brit. s.v. 

* Sanskrit nam, to worship, Greek viyuut, Irish nemhta, holy, Latin 
nemus, a grove, Gaulish nemetum, a temp]|^ Brezonec nemet, a sacred 
grove. Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ, part ii. p. 691 ; Zeuss, Gram, Celt, vol. i. 
p. 186 ; Astruc, Languedoc, p. 439 ; Davies, in Philolog, Trans, for 1857, 
p. 91 ; Gliick, Kelt, Namen, p. 75 ; Adelung, Mithridates, voL iL p. 65 ; 
Maury, Hist, des Forits, p. 160. 

' LuNDEY Island in the Bristol channel, and lundholme near Lan- 
caster may be finom this source, but more probably from the Norse lundi, a 
puffin. There is an islet called lundey on the Icelandic coast. Baring- 
Gonld, Iceland, p. 244. 

4 There are two places called HOF in Iceland. 

* Sdig, holy. See Poste, Brit, Res, p. 263. So Jerusalem is called by 
the Arabs el kuds, the holy. Compare also the name of bethel, the 
"house of God," with the Beit-allah of Mecca, and the Bsetulia of early 
Phoenician worship. Behistun is the abode of the gods, from the Sans- 


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332 Sacred Sites, 

BOGEN in the Tyrol, WYBORG and WISBY, all of them 
holy places, probably come from the Norse z//, a sacred 

Heligoland — which means " holy island land " — ^has 
been with great probability identified^ with the insula 
oceani, which is described by Tacitus as the seat of 
the secret rites of the Angli and other adjacent con- 
tinental tribes. Of the numerous places bearing the 
name of holywell, holy island, and holy hill,* 
many were probably the sites of an ancient pagan 
cultus, to which, in accordance with Gregory's well 
weighed instructions, a Christian import was given by 
Augustine and his brother missionaries.* The churches 
of St. Martin and St. Pancras, at Canterbury, as well as 

krit Bhaga, See Edin, Rev, voL xciv. p. 333 ; Stanley, Jewish Churchy 

p. 59. 

^ We have the^Gothic veihs, holy, and veUiatty to consecrate ; the old 
High German vih, a sacred grove, or temple, the German weihnaelUy 
Christmas, and the Anglo-Saxon wiccian, fascinare, whence the English 
word witch, Pictet, Orig, IndthEurop. part ii. p. 643 ; Grimm, Deutsche 
Mythol. p. 581 ; Yongc, Christian Names^ vol. ii. p. 238 ; Diefenbach, Ver* 
gleich, Wdrterbuchf yoi. i. pp. 137, 138; Vion^ Geschichte Heidenthums^ 
vol. i. p. 269 ; Thaler, m the Zatschrift Jur Deut, Myth, vol. u p. 286 ; 
Adelung, Mithridates^ pp. 144, 169. 

* See Latham, Germania^ np. 145, 146 ; Eth, of Brit, Is, p. 155 ; Grimniy 
Deutsche Myth. p. 211 ; Cri^ton, Scandinavia^ vol. L p. 75 ; and a paper 
by Maack, in the Germania, vol. iv. 

' Holy Hill is the highest point of ground in Kent Of. the nmnerons 
Heiligenbrunns and Heilbrunns in Germany, to the waters of many of 
which a supernatural efficacy was supposed to attach. The original 
meaning of holy is healing. See Grimm, Deutsche Myth, p. 553 ; Pictet, 
Orig, IndO'Europ. vol. ii. p. 647. 

< Gregory, **diu cogitsins," came to the conclusion that "fana indo- 
lorum destrui minime debeant," but that the idols should be destroyed, 
and the temples, well sprinkled with holy water, should be supplied 
with relics, so that the gens Anglorum '* ad loca quae consuevit familaritts 
concurrat.*' Beda, Hist. Ecc, lib. i. c 30 ; Gregorii Magni Epistd, lib. xi« 
ep. Ixxvi. J.Thorpe, Northern Mythology ^ voL i, p. 268. 


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Vestiges of Sclavonic Heathenism, 333 

Westminster Abbey and St. PauFs cathedral, were built 
on the sites of heathen temples, and are instances of 
this practice of enlisting, in favour of the new faith, 
the local religious attachments of the people.^ 

It would demand more space than the interest of the 
subject would warrant, to trace the local vestiges of the 
worship of the Sclavonian deities. They have left their 
names scattered far and wide over Eastern and Central 
Europe — a testimony to the long duration and great 
difficulty of the process by which the Sclavonic nations 
were converted to Christianity. Thus the name of 
Radegast, a god of light, is found at two places called 
RADEGAST in Mecklenburg Schwerin, one of the same 
name in Anhalt Dessau, and another in Oschatz; as 
well as at RADEGOSZ in Posen, RADIHOSCHT in Bohemia, 
the village of RODGES near Fulda in Hesse, anciently 
written villa Radegastes^ and many villages bearing the 
names of radibor, radeburg, radensdorf, and the 
like.* We also find traces of the worship of Swjatowit,® 
a deity with attributes similar to those of Radegast, of 
Juthrbog * the god of spring, of Ciza* the goddess of fer- 
tility, of Mita^ a malevolent cynoform deity, of Marsana^ 

1 See Rees, Welsh Saints^ p. xii. ; Dixon and Raine, Fasti Eboracenses^ 
p. 3 ; Stanley, Memorials of Canterbury^ p. 21 ; Pauli, Pictures of Old 
England, p. 12. 

* Buttmann, Deutscken Ortsnamen^ pp. 164, seq. ; Vilmar, Ortsnamen, 
p. 246. 

> At Zwettnitz in Bohemia, Schautewitz in Pomerania, and Zwitto in 
Brandenburg. Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 162 ; Maclear, Ifist. of Christian 
Missions, p. 33. 

^ Hence Jiiterbogk, a large town near Berlin. Buttmann, Ortsnamen, 
p. 168. 

" Hence Zeitz, near Leipsig. Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 168. 

< Hence Mitau in Courland. 

7 Hence Marzahn near Berlin, Marzahna near Wittenbeig, and Marzana 
in Illyria. Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 169. 


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334 Sacred Sites. 

the Sclavonic Ceres, and of Perun,^ a deity who cor- 
responds to the Scandinavian Thon 

The subject of names derived from the eastern and 
classic mythologies is too extensive for discussion in 
this place. It would require a chapter, or even a volume 
to itself. There are many such places in India, Syria is 
full of them, they abound in Italy and Greece. Thus 
CALCUTTA and CALICUT are the Kali-Ghauts, the steps, 
or landing-places by the river-side, where the great 
festival of Kali was celebrated. BAALBEC was the chief 
seat of the worship of Baal, the ruins of whose temple, 
with its substructure of colossal stones, is still one of the 
wonders of the world.^ Panium, now BAN IAS, was a 
sanctuary of Pan.^ The shores of the Mediterranean 
were covered with places bearing the names of the 
deities of Greece and Rome. More than a dozen might 
be enumerated taking their names from Neptune or 
Poseidon, of which PAESTUM, the ancient Posidonia, is 
the only one that still retains both its name and any 
human interest. Hercules seems to have been deemed 
the most powerful protector of colonies, for from him we 
find that some thirty or forty places were named HERA- 

under the protection of Apollo, were called APOLLONIS 

1 Grimm, Deut. Myth, p. 156. 

^ In the Old Testament we find many traces of the Canaanitish wor- 
ship still lingering in Palestine. For a long time, probably, the devo- 
tions of the people were attracted by the old idolatrous sanctuaries, such 
as Baal Gad, Baal Hermon, Baal Tamar, Baal Hazor, Baal Jndah, Baal 
Meon, Baal Perazim, and Baal Shalisha. In the genealogies of fiuniHes 
we find evidence of the same lingering superstitions. Thus in the 
family of Saul we find persons bearing the names of Baal, Eshbaal, and 
Meribaal. Stanley, Jewish Church, p. 291. 

8 Robinson, Biblical Researches, vol. iii. p. 348. 

4 MoNTERCHi, in Umbria, is Mons Herculis. 


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Conversion of the Nofthumbrians, 335 

or APOLLONIA, and fifteen bore the name of Pallas 
Athene, all of which, except Athens,^ have sunk into 

It is pleasant to leave these dry bones of a dead 
paganism, and turn to the names which speak to us of 
the first propagation of Christianity in our native land. 
One of the most striking scenes in the whole history of 
missionary enterprise was enacted in the East Riding of 
a mile from WEIGHTON^ where, as the name implies, 
stood a large heathen temple. Beda tells that the 
Bishop Paulinus presented himself on this spot before 
Edwin King of the Northumbrians, and urged eloquently 
the claims of the new faith. Coifi, the pagan high- 
priest, to the surprise of all, proclaimed aloud that the 
old religion had neither power nor utility. "If," said 
he, " the gods were of any worth they would heap their 
favour upon me, who have ever served them with such 
zeal." The demolition of the temple was decreed, but 
with a lingering belief in the ancient faith, all shrank 
from incurring the possible hostility of the old deities, 
by taking part in its destruction. " As an example to 
all," said Coifi, "I am myself ready to destroy that 
which I have worshipped in my folly." Arming himself 
with spear and sword, he mounted on a horse, and 
having profaned the temple by casting his lance against 
it, it was set on fire and consumed.* 

1 In this case the name of the city is probably the source from which the 
cognomen of the goddess was derived. 

« The home of the mund^ or protection of the gods, or from the 
NoTsegiMiif a priest; hcfsgodiy a temple priest Grimm, Dmt. Myth. p. 78. 

• The "sacred inclosure,*' see pp. 120, 332, svpra. The ruins of the 
temple are to be seen near Goodmanham Church. 

* Beda, HistEcc, lib. IL c. 13. Cf. Lappenbeig, Anglo-Sax, JCingSy vol. I 


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336 Sacred Sites. 

GODNEY near Glastonbury, GODMANCHESTER in 
Huntingdonshire, GODMANSTONE in Dorset, GODLEY in 
Cheshire, GODSTOW near Oxford, GODSHILL in the Isle 
of Wight, and GODSTONE in Surrey, were probably, like 
Godmundham, pagan sites consecrated to Christian 

The prefix llan which, as we have seen,^ occurs so 
frequently in Cornwall, Wales, and the border counties, 
often enables us to detect the spots which were the first 
to be dedicated to purposes of Christian worship. 

The Cymric lian is replaced in Scotland and Ireland 
by the analogous Gadhelic word kiL Originally this 
denoted only a hermit's "cell," though it was after- 
wards used to mean the "church," of which the hermit's 
cell was so often the germ. 

The numerous village-names which have this prefix 
kil possess a peculiar interest. They often point out to 
us the earliest local centers from which proceeded the 
evangelization of the half-savage Celts ; they direct us 
to the hallowed spots where the first hermit missionaries 
established each his lonely cell, and thence spread around 
him the blessings of Christianity and of civilization. 

In Ireland alone there are no less than 1,400 local 
names which contain this root, and there are very many 
in Scotland also.^ In Wales and the neighbouring coun- 
ties, a few names occur with the prefix kil instead of 
llan. These names may probably be regarded as local 
memorials of those Irish missionaries, who about the 

p. 153; St. John, Four Conquests, voL i. p. no; Turner, Angh-Saxons^ 
vol. i. pp. 356 — ^360 ; Dixon and Raine, Fasti Eboracenses^ vol i. pp. 40^ 41 ; 
Maclear, History of Missions, p. 1 14. 

1 See p. 229, supra, 

• E,g, Kilmore, Kilkenny, Killin, IcolmkilL 


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The Hermit Missionaries. 337 

fifth century resorted in considerable numbers to the 
shores of Wales.^ 

It seems to have been by means of these Irish hermits 
that the fierce Scandinavians who settled in the islands 
off the Scottish coast were brought to submit to the 
gentle influences of Christianity. The Norse name for 
these anchorite fathers was Papar, Three islets among 
the Hebrides,^ two in the Orkneys,* two in the Shet- 
lands,* and others among the Faroes and off" the coast of 
Iceland, bear the names of PABBA, or papa, the " Father's 
isle." In the. Mainland of Orkney, and again in South 
Ronaldshay, we find places called PAPLAYj^the "hermit's 
abode," and at ENHALLOW, and at one of the PAPAS in 
the Orkneys, the ancient cells are still preserved.^ 

In that part of England which was settled by the 
Danes, the missionary efforts seem to- have been more 
of a parochial character. We find the prefix kirk^ a 
church, in the names of no less than sixty-eight places 
in the Danelagh, while in the Saxon portion of England 
we find it scarcely once.^ KIRBY means church-village, 
and the Kirbys which are dotted over East Anglia and 
Northumbria speak to us of the time when the possession 
of a church by a village community was the exception, 

1 We find Kilcwm, Kilsant, and Kilycon in Carmarthen ; Kilgarran and 
Kilred in Pembrokeshire ; Kilkenin, Kiluellon, and Kilwy in Cardigan ; 
Kilowen in Flint; Kilgwri in Cheshire-; Kilmersdon and Kilstock in 
Somerset ; Kildare and Killow in Yorkshire ; and KUpisham in Rutland. 

« Pabba off Skye, Pabba off Harris, and Pabba off Barra. 

8 Papa Westray and Papa Stronsay. 
4 Papa Stour and Papa Little. 

9 There is a Papil in Unst, and a Pappadill in Rum. 

• Wilson, Pre-historic AnnalSy p. 486; Dasent, Burnt Njal, vol. i. p. viii ; 
Worsaae, Danes, p. 231. 

7 It is found over the whole track of the Norsemen from Kirkwall in the 
OrkneySy to Dunkerque in Flanders, and Querqueville in Normandy. 


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338 Sacred Sites, 

and not, as is now happily the case, the rule. These 
names point to a state of things somewhat similar to 
that now prevailing in Australia or Canada, where often 
but a single church and a single clergyman are to be 
found in a district fifty miles in circumference.* Thus 
we may regard these Kirbys distributed throughout the 
Danelagh, as the sites of the mother churches, to which 
the surrounding parishes, whose names contain no such 
prefix, would bear a filial relationship. 

Joined with the prefixes kil and llan we find not un- 
frequently the name of the apostle of each wild valley 
or rocky islet — the first Christian missionary who ven- 
tured into the mountain fastnesses to tame their savage 
denizens. From the village-names of Wales, Scotland, 
and Ireland, it would be almost possible to compile a 
Hagiology of these sainted men, who have been canon- 
ized by locdl tradition, though their names are seldom 
to be found in the pages of the Bollandists. 

In a few of these cases, where the same name is 
repeated again and again, we can only infer the fact of 
the dedication of the church to some saint of widely 
extended fame. Thus the repute of St Bridget has 
given rise to no less than eighteen Kilbrides in Scotland 
alone. At icolmkill, or Iona,« as well as at inchcolm, 
COLONSAY, and KIRKCOLM, we find the name of St 
Columba, the great apostle of the Picts, who is said to 
have founded an hundred monasteries in Ireland and 
Scotland. So the name of St. Ciarran, the apostle of 

1 See Dixon and Raine, FatH EhoraceHset^ voL i. p. 27. 

* lona, the chief monasteiy and seminary of North Britain, and the 
burial-place of innumerable kings and saints, was originally bestowed oo 
St Columba by one of the Pictish kings. Lappenbeig, AngioSaxom KirngSf 
ToL L p. 132 ; Maclear, History 0/ Christian Missions^ pp. 84— 9a 


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• Local Saints, 339 

the Scoto-Irish, and the founder of a monastic rule, is 
found at KILKIARAN in Islay, as well as at KILKERRAN 
in Ayrshire and in Connemara. But a very large num- 
ber of these saint-names are locally unique, and the 
parishes which bear such names are almost always the 
most ancient, their ecclesiastical position being that of 
the mother parishes, affiliated to which are the churches 
dedicated to saints in the Romish calendar.^ Hence 
these village-names may fairly be adduced as evidence 
in any attempt to localize the scene of the labours of 
these primitive missionaries.^ 

Our space would fail were we to attempt such a 
commemoration in this place ; it may suffice to indicate 
the names of a few of the local saints who are associated 
with some of the more familiar localities. Thus the 
watering place of LLANDUDNO takes its name from St 
Tudno, a holy hermit who took up his abode among 
the rocks of the Orme's head, llanberis, now the 
head-quarters of Welsh tourists, commemorates the 
labours of St Peris, an apostolically-minded cardinal.* 
In the case of beddgelert, the legend of the hound 
Gelert, which Spencer has so gracefully inshrined in 
verse, must give place to the claims of St. Celert, a 
Welsh saint of the fifth century, to whom the church of 
LLANGELLER is consecrated. LLANGOLLEN is so called 
from St Collen, a man more fortunate, or unfortunate, 
than the majority of his brethren, in that a Welsh 
legend .of his life has come down to us, recounting the 
deeds of valour which he performed when a soldier in 

1 Rees, Wdsh Samtt, pp. 57, 59- 

• Great use has been made of local names in the Lhet of the Cambro- 
British Saints^ by the Rev. W. J. Rees, and m the Essay on tht Wdsh Saints^ 
by Professor Rice Rees, who enumerates 479 local saints. 

» Rees, Wdsh Saints, p. 302. 

Z 2 

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340 Sacred Sites. * 

the Roman armies ; how he became Abbot of Glaston- 
bury, and finally retired to spend the remainder of his 
days in a cave scooped out in that rugged wall of cliff 
which bounds the lovely valley on which the saint has 
bestowed his name.^ 

The name of MERTHYR TYDFIL commemorates the 
spot where the heathen Saxons and Picts put to death 
the martyr Tydfyl, daughter of the eponymic King 
Brychan, who is asserted by Welsh legend to have 
given his name to the county of Brecknock.* 

St. David or St. Dewi was a Welsh prince, whose 
preaching is compared to that of St. John the Baptist. 
He lived on herbs, and clothed himself in the skins of 
beasts. LLANDDEWI BREFI marks the spot where, at 
a synod assembled for the purpose, he refuted Pelagius. 
He was buried at his see of TY DDEWI, " the house of 
David," a place which the Saxons call St Davids.' The 
names of St. Asaph,* the apostle of North Wales, and of 
St. Maughold or Macull, the apostle of the Isle of Man, 
are to be found on the maps of the countries where they 
laboured. A few more of these names are appended in 
a note.* 

1 See Borrow, Wild JVaIa,\ol. l p. 57; Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 302. 
« Borrow, Wild Wales, voL iil p. 4II; Haigh, Conquest of Briiaim, ^ 
251 ; Rees, Camhro- British Saints, pp. 602—608; Rees, Welsh Saints, ip. 151. 
» Alban Butler, Lives of the Saints, March I ; Lappenbei^, Angh-Saxon 
Kings, vol. i. p. 133 ; Rees, Cambro- British Saints, pp. 402 — ^448 ; Rees, 
Welsh Saints, pp. 43 — 56, 19 1 — 201. 
^ Rees, Welsh Saints, p. 265. 

B The names of are attributed to 

LLANGATTOCK, Brecknock, and J 

Monmouth V St Cadoc, a martyr. 

CADOXTON, Glamorgan . . . . ; 

LLANBADERN, Radnor, andCardigan St Padem, an Armorican bishop 

who came to Wales. 



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The Local Saints of Wales. 341 

At KIRKCUDBRIGHT and elsewhere, we find the ftame 
of St Cuthbert, a shepherd-bpy who became abbot of 
Melrose, and the Thaumaturgus of Britain. St. Beya, 
an Irish virgin, lived an ascetic life at ST. BEES, where 
her shrine was long a great place of pilgrimage. We 
find the name of St. Jia, another female saint, at ST. 
IVES in Cornwall. There is another place called ST. 
IVES, which takes its name, we are told, from St Ivon,^ 

LLANGYBi, near Caerleon . . • \ q. ^ v» 
CAERGYBi, at Holyhead . , . • / ^'- ^y°*' 

LLANiLLTYD. Glamorgan . . . | st Illtyd, an Armorican. 

ILLSTON, Glamojgan ) 

CRANTOCK, Cardigan St Carannog. 

LLANGADOG, Carmarthenshire . . St Gadoga, a British saint of the 

fifth centuiy, who died in Brittany. 


WBry^N.toKe.^!"^ '. '. :i St Finian the leper, a royal saint 
KiLBAR, in the Isle of barra . . St Bar. 

ST. kenelm's well St Kenelm, a Mercian prince, mur- 
dered in a wood by his aunt at the 
age of seven. 

killaloe St Lua. 

perranzabuloe, or St Perran in \ St Piran, a bishop consecrated by 
Sabulo, Cornwall, a church > St Patrick for a mission to Corn- 
buried in the drifting sand . . ) wall. 
PADSTOW, f>. Petrocstow, in Com- ) St Petroc, one of St Patrick's mis- 
wall ) sionary bishops. 

PENZANCE, />. Saint's Headland , St Anthony. 

The legends of St Cadoc, St Padem, St Cybi, St Illtyd, and St 
Carannog will be found at length in Rees, Cambro- British Saints^ pp. 309, 
396, 465, 495, 502 ; and those of the others, in Alban Butler, Lives of the 
Saints^ and Rees, Welsh Saints, 

1 Cf. Gough*s Camden, vol. ii. p. 248. There is a third St Ivo, the 
popular saint of Brittany. He was an honest lawyer, and hence he is repre- 
sented as a black swan in certain mediaeval verses in his honour : — 
" Sanctus Ivo erat Brito 
Advocatus, sed non latro 
Res miranda populo." 

Jephson, Tour infirittany^ p. 81. 

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342 Sacred Sites. 

a Persian bishop ; but how his body reached Hunting- 
donshire, where it was miraculously discovered by a 
ploughman in the year looi, tradition sayeth not The 
neighbouring town of ST. NEOTS bears the name of St. 
Neot, who was a relative of King Alfred.^ 

St. MALO takes its name from St. Maclou, as the 
chronicles call him. He appears to have been one of 
those wandering evangelists^ of whom Ireland and 
Scotland sent forth so many in the sixth century, and 
we may perhaps conjecture that his real name was 
McLeod, and that his cousin St Magloire was really a 
McClure.* A more historical personage is St Gall (the 
Gael), the most celebrated of the successors of St 
Columba: — ^he occupied high station in France, and 
founded in the uncleared forest the Scotch abbey of 
ST. GALLEN, from which one of the Swiss cantons takes 
its name.* Another Swiss canton, that of GLARUS, 
belonged to a church founded by St Fridolin, an Irish 
missionary, and dedicated to St Hilarius, a saint whose 
name has been corrupted into Glarus.* ST, GOAR built 
a hut beneath the dangerous Lurlei rock, at the spot 
which bears his name, and devoted himself to the 
succour of shipwrecked mariners.* St Brioc fled from 
the Saxon invaders of Britain, and founded a monas- 
tery at ST. BRIEUX in Brittany.^ The town of ST, 

1 Turner, Saxons, vol. i. pp. 549—553- 

* A catalogue of some of these Irish saints will be found in Alban Battery 
Lives of the Saints, vol. xii. pp. 415 — 432. 

' For an account of St Magloire see Ansted, Channel Islands, pi 324 ; 
Rees, IVelsh Saints, p. 256. 

4 Madear, History 0/ Missions, pp. I46--152; Lappenbei^ Angh-Sax»m 
Kings, vol. i. p. 183, 

* lAppenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol, i. p. 183. 

* Maclear, If istory 0/ Christian Missions, p. 132. 
' Jephson, Tour in Brittany, p. 31. 


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Si Ives— St Mah—SU Cloud— St. Heliersl 343 

OMER was the see of St Audomar, a Suabian favourite of 
Dagobert, and ST. CLOUD was the scene of the retirement 
of St. Hlodowald, one of the saints whose royal birth 
facilitated their admission to the honours of the calendar.^ 

Legends more or less marvellous often attach to names 
of this class. 

The history of St Brynach, who gave his name to 
LLANFRYNACH, is, to Say the least, somewhat remark- 
able! We are gravely told how, for lack of a boat, he 
sailed from Rome to Milford Haven mounted on a piece 
of rock, and how among other proofs of supernatural 
power he freed Fishguard from? the unclean spirits, 
who by their bowlings had rendered the place uninha- 

Sometimes we have legends of a totally different 
class, as in the case of ST. HELIERS in Jersey. Here, 
we are told, was the retreat of St. Helerius,^ who morti- 
fied the flesh by standing on sharp stones with spikes 
pointed against his shoulders, and others against his 
breast, in order to prevent him from falling backwards 
or forwards in his weariness.* 

A far more picturesque legend is that which accounts 
for the name of the castle of ST. angelo at Rome. 
We are told that, in the time of Gregory the Great, 
while a great plague was desolating Rome, the Pontiff, 

1 SANTAR£M, SANTIAGO, and SANTANDER, In the Peninsola, take their 
names respectively from St. Irene, a holy virgin, St James, and St. Andrew; 
AUCHANGEL, in Russia, from St Michael ; marsaba, on the Dead Sea, 
from the celebrated St Saba, hermit and abbot 

s Rees, Cambro-BritUh Saints, pp. 2S9 — 298; Rees, Welsh Saints^ 

p. 156. 

* Not to be confounded with St Hilarius, Bishop of Poitiers, or with 
Hilarius, Bishop of Aries, to whom Waterland has assigned the authorship 
of the Athanasian Creed. 

4 Lfitham, Channel Islands, pp. 320—323. 


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344 Sacred Sites. 

walking in procession at the head of his monks, and 
chaunting a solemn litany for the deliverance of the 
city, saw, or thought he saw, St Michael, the destroying 
angel, standing upon the very summit of the vast 
mausoleum of Hadrian, in the act of sheathing his 
avenging sword. The plague ceased, and thencefor- 
ward, in memory of the miracle, the tower bore the 
name of the castle of the angel, whose effigy, poised 
upon its summit in eternal bronze, is pointed out as 
a perpetual evidence of the truth of the legend.^ 

Where the reputed burial-places of celebrated saints 
have become great places of pilgrimage, the name of 
the saint has often superseded the original appellation. 
Thus the reputed tomb of Lazarus has changed the 
local name of Bethany to EL LAZARIEH; and Hebron, 
the place of interment of Abraham, who was called the 
friend of God, is now called by the Arabs EL KHALIL, 
or " the friend." ^ ST. Edmund's bury in Suffolk was 
the scene of the martyrdom of St. Edmund, king of the 
East Angles. He was taken prisoner by Ingvar the 
Viking, and having been bound to a tree, he was 
scourged, and made a target for the arrows of the Danes, 
and was finally beheaded.^ ST. OSYTH in Essex is said 
to bear the name of a queen of the East Angles who 
was beheaded by the Danes.* ST. ALBANS claims to be 

^ Dean Milman has ruthlessly pronounced this picturesque legend to be 
inconsistent with Gregory's own letters. History of Latin Christy ▼oL i. 

p. 409. 

• Stanley, Jrutish Churchy p. 488. 

s Matthew of Westminster, Roger Wendover, and John of Brompton, 
apud Lappenberg, Angto-Saxon Kings, vol. ii. p. 39 ; St John, Four Qm-^ 
guests, vol. i. p. 253 ; Sharon Turner, Saxons, vol. i. pp. 521 — 525. 

^ Cough's Camden, vol. ii. pp. 124, 138. The name seems to be eponymic. 
Osyth means *' water channel," and would correctly characterize the natural 
features of the spot 


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Places of Pilgrimage, 345 

the scene of the sufferings of the protomartyr of Britain, 
and the still more marvellous legend of Dionysius the 
Areopagite finds a local habitation at ST. DENIS, the 
burial-place of the kings of France. The name of 
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELLA in Spain has been curi- 
ously formed out of the Latin phrase Sancto Jacobo 

Of the great monastic edifices of later ages, most of 
which are now demolished wholly or in part, or devoted 
to other purposes, we find traces in the names of AX- 
STER, UPMINSTER, and Others. Minster is the Anglo- 
Saxon form of the Low Latin Monasterium, From the 
same word come the names of several places called 
Switzerland, and various MONASTIRS in Greece and 
Thessaly. The bay of ABER BENIGUET in Brittany, 
takes its name from the lighthouse which the Bene- 
dictine monks maintained to warn vessels from the 
dangerous rocks upon the coast.' Mt)NCHEN, or Munich 
as we call it, takes its name from the warehouse in 
which the monks (German mbnche) stored the produce 
of their valuable salt-mines at Reichenhall and Salzburg. 
ABBEVILLE was the township belonging to the Abbot 
of St. Valeri, seized and fortified by Hugh Capet* 
Numerous names, such as NUNTHORPE and NUNEATON, 

^ Yonge, Christian Names^ voL L p. 54. 

' Ibid. vol. I p. 382. 

• Palgrave, Normandy and England^ vol. iii. p. 56. 

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346 Sacred Sites. 

FRATRUM, record the sites of the long-secularized pos- 
sessions of nuns, abbots, priors, bishops, friars, monks, 
and priests.^ The word Temple often appears as a 
prefix or suffix in village names, and marks the posses- 
sion of the Templars : such are CRESSING TEMPLE and 
TEMPLE DINSLEY in Herts. TERREGLES in Dumfries is 
a corruption of Terra Ecclesue^ a phrase which is usually 
translated into the form of KIRKLANDS, or corrupted 
into ECCLES. The name of AIX-LA-CHAPELLE * reminds 
us of the magnificent shrine erected over the tomb of 
Charlemagne, and CAPEL CURIG of the chapel of a 
humble British saint 

1 Sion House, near Kew, was a nunnery. Gough's Camden, voL ii. 
p. 88. 

'Mr. Buij^n, in his amusing letters from Rome, has recently pointed out 
an undoubted etymology for this word chapd^ which has so long puzzled 
etymologists. It seems to have been the name given to the arched sepulchres 
excaN'ated in the walls of the catacombs of Rome, which afterwards became 
places where prayer was wont to be made. The Low Latin capella is the 
hood or covering of the altar. Hence our words cape and cap. See Wedge- 
wood, Dictionary of English EtymoL vol. i. p. 322. The inscription in the 
catacombs which gave Mr. Buigon the clue is UUratim as follovrs : *' ego 


ERUND. " Letters from Rome, p. 206. Any of our young schoolboy readers 
may correct the grammar, and then translate the mscription for their sister's 


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Geology and Etymology, 347 



7%t nature of geological changes^ — The valley of the Thames once a lagoon 
filled with islets — Thanet once an islands-Reclamation of Romney Marsh 
— Newhaven — Somersetshire — The Traeth Mawr^ The Carse of Cowrie — 
Loch Maree — The Fens of Cambridgeshire — The Isle of Axholme^Silting 
up of the lake of Geneva — Increase of the Delta of the Po — Volcanoes — 
Destruction of ancient Forests — Icelandic Forests— The Weald of Kent — In^ 
crease of population — Populousness of Scucon England— The nature of 
Scucon husbandry — English vineyards — Extinct animals : the wolf, badger, 
auroch, and beaver — Ancient ScUt Works — Lighthouses — Changes in the 
relative commercial importance of towns. 

Vast geological operations are still in progress on this 
globe ; continents are slowly subsiding at the rate of 
a few inches in a century ; while new lands are uprising 
out of the waters, and extensive deltas are in process 
of formation by alluvial deposition. But these changes, 
vast as is their aggr^ate amount, are so gradual that 
generations pass away without having made note of any 
sensible mutations. Local names, however, form an en- 
during chronicle, and often enable us to detect the pro- 
gress of these physical changes, and occasionally even to 
assign a precise date to the period of their operation. 

Thus it is not difficult to prove that the present aspect 
of the lower valley of the Thames is very different from 
what it must have been a thousand years ago. Instead 

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348 Physical Changes attested by Local Names, 

of being confined within regular banks the river must 
have spread its sluggish waters over a broad lagoon, 
which was dotted with marshy islands. This is indicated 
by the fact that the Anglo-Saxon word ea or ey^ an 
island, enters into the composition of the names of many 
places by the river-side which are now joined to the 
mainland by rich pastures. BERMONDSEY, PUTNEY, 


ETON or Eaton, were all islands in the lagoon. The 
Abbey Church of Westminster was built for security on 
THORNEY Island, and the eastern portion of the water 
in St. James's Park is a part of that arm of the Thames 
which encircled the sanctuary of the monks, and the 
palace of the Anglo-Saxon kings. The name CHELSEA 
is a contraction of chesel-ea^ or " shingle island," and in 
its natural features the place must have once resembled 
the eyots which are found in the Thames near Hampton. 
In Leland*s time there was a shingle bank at the mouth 
of the Axe in Devon called the Chisille. The long 
ridge of shingle which joins the Isle of Portland to the 
mainland is also called the Chesil bank ; and the name 
of the Isle of Portland proves that the formation of this 
ridge took place in modem times, subsequent to the 
period when Anglo-Saxon gave place to modem English. 
The Isle of Thanet was formerly as much an island as 
the Isle of Shepp<?K is at the present time. Ships bound 
up the Thames used ordinarily to avoid the perils of 
the North Foreland by sailing through the channel 
between the island and the mainland, entering by Sand- 
wich and passing out by Reculver, near Heme Bay. 
SANDWICH, or *' sandy bay," was then one of the chief 
ports of debarkation ; but the sands have filled up the 

^ The island at the confluence of the Mole and the Thames. 

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Silting up of tJu Stour. 349 

wick or bay, the ancient port is now a mile and a half 
distant from high-v/ater mark; and the ruins of Rutupiae, 
now Richborough, the port where the Roman fleets used 
to be laid up, are now surrounded by fine pastures. 
EBBFLEET, which is now half a mile from the shore, was 
a port in the twelfth century,^ and its name indicates 
the former existence of a " tidal channel " at the spot^ 
This navigable channel, which passed between the Isle 
of Thanet and the mainland, has ^been silted up by the 
deposits brought down by the River Stour. STOUR- 
MOUTH — ^the name, be it noted, is English, not Anglo- 
Saxon — is now four miles from the sea, aqd marks the 
former embouchure of this river, chiselet, close by, 
was once a shingle islet, and the name of FORDWICK,^ 
five mfles farther inland, proves that in the time of the 
Danes the estuary must have extended nearly as far as 

ROMNEY Marsh,* which is now a fertile tract contain- 
i^^g 50,000 acres of the best pasturage in England, 
must, in Saxon times, have resembled the shore near 
Lymington — a worthless muddy flat, overflowed at every 

1 Stanley, Memcriah of Canterbury^ p. 13. 

a The Celtic name of durlock, more than a mile from the sea, means 
^' water lake," and indicates the process hy which the estuary was converted 
into meadow. 

3 Fordwick means in Danish the bay on the arm of the sea. (See p. 161, 
supra). Fordwick was anciently the port of Canterbury, and a corporate 
town. Cough's Camden, vol. i. p. 356. Nonc^^ in the thirteenth and 
fourteenth centuries was "on the banks of an arm of the sea.'' Lyell, 
Principles of Geology^ p. 307. 

4 Beyond Canterbury is Olantigh, anciently Olantige, whose name shows 
that in Saxon times it must have been an ige^ or island. 

s From the Gaelic word ruimne^ a marsh. The name of RAMSEY, in the 
Fens, is derived from the same source. 


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3SO Physical Changes attested by Local Names, 

low islands which afforded sites for the earliest fisher- 
villages. The name of WINCHELSEA, or gwent-chesel-^, 
enlightens us as to the process by which these islands were 
formed — namely, by the heaping up of shingle banks 
at the seaward edge of the muddy flats.^ The recent 
origin of this tract of land, and the gradual progress of 
its reclamation, are moreover curiously illustrated by 
the fact that over the greater portion of the marsh the 
local names present a marked contrast to the ancient 
names which so abound in Kent. They are purely 

and NEWCHURCH. In a few of the more elevated spots 
the names are Saxon or Celtic, as winchelsea or 
ROMNEY, while it is only when we come to the inland 
margin of the marsh that we meet with a fringe of 
ancient names like LYMNE or APPLEDORE,^ which show 
the existence of continuous habitable land in the times 
of the Romans or the Celts.' 

Lymne, the ancient Portus Lemanus, is the mawh/^ 
Tufifjv of Ptolemy, and was one of the three g^eat 
fortified harbours which protected the communications 
of the Romans with the Continent The ruins of the 

^ Dungeness, at the southern extrenuty of Romney Manh, is a long spit 
of shingle, derived from the disintegration of the clii&at Beachy Head, and 
has for the last two centuries been advancing seaward at the rate of neariy 
twenty feet per annum. Lyell, Princ^les, p. 316. 

* From the Celtic <hor^ water. Appledore was once a maritime town. 
See Cough's Camden, vol. i. p. 368. 

> The same is the case*in the Fens. The portions reclaimed at an early 
period show English names surrounded by a border of Danish names on the 
north, and of Saxon names on the south. The same is the case with the 
Delta of the Rhone. Places lying to the north of the old Roman road be- 
tween Nismes and Beziers have Celtic names, while all those to the sooth 
of the road have names of Romance derivation. Astmc, Hut, Langueipe^ 
pp. 374. 375 ; Lyell, Principles, p. 258. 


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Formation of Romney Marsh, • 35 1 

Roman port are now nearly two mUes from the sea. 
The names of west HYTHE, which is more than a mile 
from the shore, and of HYTHE, which is only half a 
mile, chronicle the silting up of the backwater which 
formed the ancient port, and the successive seaward ad- 
vances of the shingle since the time when the Saxon word 
kitke was superseded by its English equivalent "haven "^ 

The name of NEWHAVEN commemorates a geological 
event of an opposite character. LEWES was anciently 
a port,^ and hamsey was a marshy island in the estuary 
of the River Ouse, which then entered the sea at SEA- 
FORD,* but a great storm in the year 1570 permanently 
changed its course, and the port of Newhaven has arisen 
at the new outlet of the river.* 

Pevensey and selsey arc now no longer islands, 
the channels which divided them from the mainland 
having been silted up. The name of SELSEY (seal's 
island) reminds us of the remote period when seals lay 
basking on the Sussex coast* 

The central part of Somersetshire presents many 
names which show great physical changes.* In Celtic 
islands, as was the case in the Saxon period with 

^ Wright, Wanderings of an Antiquary^ p. 12$. 

* See p. 171, supra, 

» Probably from the Danish j^(i?n/. 

^ The name of Newport in South Wales reminds ns in like manner of 
the decay of the Roman port at Caerleon, and the erection of another a 
little nearer to the sea ; and Newport in the Isle of Wight has taken the 
place of an older harbour near Carisbrooke. 

' See Gough's Camden, vol. i. p. 268. 

* See Macaulay, History rfEngland^ vol I p. 604. 


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352 Physical Changes attested by Local Names. 

and WESTHOLME, while the pasture-land called MEARE 
must once have been the bed of an inland lake. 

The whole district of the TRAETH MAWR or " Great 
Sand " in North Wales was an estuary at no very remote 
period. The action of the sea may be distinctly traced 
along the rocks near Tremadoc.^ Almost every rocky 
knoll on the wide flat pasture land bears the name of 
ynysy or island,* and must once have been surrounded by 
every tide, as is still the case with Ynys-gifftan and 
Ynys-gyngar. YNYS FAWR and YNYS EACH, the " Great 
Island " and the " Little Island " are now two miles from 
the sea.* From YNYS HIR, now some way inland, Madoc 
is said to have sailed in quest of unknown lands. Ywem, 
two miles from the sea, was once a sea-port, as is proved 
by the parish register of Penmorpha.* 

The tract of land near Dartmouth called NEW GROUND 
was only reclaimed from the river a century ago.* ROOD- 
EY, which now forms the race-course at Chester, was 
formerly an island surrounded by the river Dee, like 
the INCHES, or islands of Perth. The Carse of Gowrie 
is the bed of an ancient arm of the sea, which having 
been nearly filled up by the alluvium of the Tay and 
the Earn, has, in common with the whole of central 
Scotland, undergone an elevation of twenty to thirty 
feet since the Roman period. INCHTURE, INCHMARTIN, 

1 The site of this town was reclaimed from the sea in 1813 by means of 
an embankment made by Mr. Maddock. 


s YNYS GWERTHERYN, south of Harlech, is a mile inland. 

< Davis, on the Geology of Tremadoc, in Quarterly Journal of ike C€^ 
logical Society, for May, 1846, vol. ii. pp. 70—75 ; Chambers, Anciemi Sm 
Margins, p. 20. 

8 Murray, Handbook to Devonshire and Cornwall^ p. 58. 


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Recent Elevation of Scotland. 353 

names witness, islands in this frith.^ In the plain a little 
below Dunkeld, a hillock containing 156 acres goes by 
the name of INCHTUTHILL, " the island of the flooded 
stream," showing that the Tay must once have sur- 
rounded it^ 

This secular elevation of Scotland may also be traced 
by means of the raised beaches on the western coast 
Here also we meet with a remarkable etymological 
confirmation of the results arrived at on independent 
grounds by geological investigators. "Loch Ewe, in 
Ross-shire, one of our salt sea lochs," says Hugh Miller, 
" receives the waters of Loch Maree — a noble freshwater 
lake, about eighteen miles in length, so little raised 
above the sea level that ere the last upheaval of the 
land it must have formed merely the upper reaches of 
Loch Ewe. The name Loch Maree — Mary's Loch ^ — 
is evidently mediaeval. And, curiously enough, about a 
mile beyond its upper end, just where Loch Ewe would 
have terminated ere the land last arose, an ancient farm 
has borne, from time immemorial, the name of KINLOCH 
EWE— the head of Loch Ewe." * 

Start island, in the Orkneys, has in comparatively 
recent times been separated from the Island of Sanda. 
The word start means a tail, as in the case of Start-point, 
in Devon, and the redstart or red-tailed bird. Thus the 

1 Chambers, Ancimt Sea Margins^ p. 19 ; Geikie, ''On the Date of the 
Last Elevation of Central Scotland," in Quarterly Journal of Geological 
Society, vol. xviii p. 227. An anchor has been dag up at Megginch, and at 
the fann of Inchmichael a boat-hook was found at a depth of eight feet 
below the soil, and twenty feet above the present high watermark. 

* Chambers, Ancient Sea Margins, p. 44. 

* Or, perhaps, from the Celtic mar, the sea. 

* Hugh Miller, Lectures on Geology, p. 23. 

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354 Physical Changes attested by Local Names. 

name of this island proves that it was once only a long 
promontory projecting from the island of Sanda.^ 

The Fens of Cambridgeshire aud Huntingdonshire 
constitute a vast alluvial flat of more than a thousand 
square miles in extent, and must formerly have been 
a shallow bay six times as large as the Wash, which 
has been silted up by the deposits of the Nen, the 
Welland, and the Ouse. 

The local names in this district show, as might have 
been expected, great alterations in the distribution of 
land and water. HOLBEACH is now six miles from the 
coast, and WISBEACH, the beach of the Wash or Ouse, 
is seven miles inland.^ The ancient sea-wall, now at a 
considerable distance from the shore, has given rise to 
the local names of WALSOKEN, WALTON, and walpole. 

The tide does not now come within two miles of 
TYDD, and almost all the present villages in the Fen 
country were originally islands, as is shown by their 
names. Thus Tilney, Gedney, Stickney, Ramsey, 
Thomey, Stuntney, Southery, Norney, Quaney, Helgae, 
Higney, Spinney, Whittlesey, Yaxley, Ely, Holme, 
Oxney, Eye, Coveny, Monea, Swathesey, Sawtrey, 
Raveley, Rowoy, and Wiskin,* are no longer, as they 
once were, detached islands in the watery waste; the 
great inland seas of Ramsey Mere and Whittlesey Mere 
are now drained, and the flocks of wildfowl have given 
place to flocks of sheep. 

The Isle of axholme or axelholme, in Lincoln- 

1 Lyell, Principles, p. 302. 

» We have also landbeach, waterbeach, asbeach, over (Anglo-Saxon 
ufer, a shore), and erith {ora, shore, and hithe^ haven), which are all 
places on the edge of the present Fen district. 

» Both syllables of this name are Celtic It is evidently the " ^water 
island." See p. 204, supra. 


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The Fens, 355 

shire, is now joined to the main land by a wide tract 
of rich comland. The name shows that it has been 
an island during the time of the Celts, Saxons, Danes, 
and English. The first syllable Ax is the Celtic word 
for the water by which it was surrounded. The Anglo- 
Saxons added their word for island to the Celtic name, 
and called it Axey. A neighbouring village still goes 
by the name of HAXEY. The Danes added holing the 
Danish word for island, to the Saxon name, and modern 
English influences have corrupted Axeyholme into 
Axelholme, and contracted it into Axholme, and have 
finally prefixed the English word Isle, The internal 
evidence afforded by the name is supplemented by 
historical facts. In the time of Henry II. the island 
was attacked and taken by the Lincolnshire men in 
boats, and so late as the time of James I. it was sur- 
rounded by broad waters, across which the islanders 
sailed once a week to attend the market at Doncaster. 

We can trace similar changes on the Continent. The 
city of LISLE is built on Uisky once an island. MON- 
TREUIL SUR MER, formerly Monasteriolum super Mare, 
was built in the year 900, on the banks of an estuary 
which has been silted up, and the town is now separated 
from the sea by many miles of alluvial soil.^ A Danish 
fleet once sailed up to jS^rvent, which is now ten miles 
from the sea. WISSAN is now four miles from the sea. 
The name is a corruption of the Norse Wissant or 
Witsand, and refers to the "white sand" which has 
choked up the harbour from which, in all probability, 
Caesar first sailed for Britain.^ ST. pierre-SUR-LE- 

1 Smiles, Lives of the Engineers^ vol. i. p. 37. 

' Palgrave, England and Normandy ^ vol. ii. p. 57. - 

* Ibid. vol. ii. p. 200. 

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3S6 Physical Changes attested by Local Names. 

DIGUE, near Bruges; is six miles from the present 
seawall, and the town of DAMME, which once possessed 
an harbour and considerable maritime trade, is now an 
inland agricultural town.^ n6tre dame DES PORTS, 
at the mouth of the Rhone, was an harbour in the year 
898, but is now three miles from the sea.^ OSTIA, as 
the name implies, and as we are expressly told, was 
founded at the mouth of the Tiber, but the alluvial 
matter from the Apennines brought down by the yellow 
river has now advanced the coast line three miles 
beyond Ostia.* 

There are but few islands in the world whose names 
do not contain some root denoting their insular character. 
A remarkable exception to this rule is to be found in 
the names of the islands which lie off the mouth of the 
Scheldt, and at the entrance of the Zuyder Zee. Does 
not the circumstance bear a striking testimony to the 
historical fact that it is only within comparatively recent 
times that the delta of the Scheldt has been broken up, 
and the Zuyder Zee formed by incursions of the ocean ? 

Port VALAIS, the Portus Valesiae of the Romans, 
occupies the site of the ancient harbour at the upper 
end of the Lake of Greneva. The alluvium of the Rhone 
has advanced the land nearly two miles in less than 
two thousand years, being at the rate of between four 
and five feet per annum. VILLENEUVE, the new town, 
has taken the place of the old port 

The southern face of the Alps is bare and precipitous, 
and from meteorological causes, which are well under- 
stood, the district is peculiarly liable to sudden and 

* Burn, Tour in Belgium, p. 14. 

« Lyell, Principles, p. 259. 

8 Bimbuiy, in Smith's Diet. ofGeogr, s. v. Ostia. 


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Delta of the Po. 357 

violent falls of rain. The rivers of Lombardy are, in 
consequence, charged with an exceptional amount of 
alluvial matter. The whole plain of the Fo is rapidly- 
rising, so much so that at Modena the ruins of the 
Roman city are found forty feet beneath the surface 
of the ground. Hence at the embouchures of the Po 
and the Adige we might anticipate rapid changes in 
the coast line ; and this we find to be the case. We 
find a range of ancient dunes and sea beaches stretching 
from Brandolo to Mesola. Ravenna, now four miles 
inland, stood on the coast two thousand years ago. One 
of the suburbs of Ravenna is called CLASSE, a corruption 
of Classis,^ the ancient name of the port, which was 
capable of giving shelter to 250 ships of war. Classe 
is now separated from the sea by a dense forest of 
stone-pines two miles in breadth. The Adriatic takes 
its name from the town of ADRIA, which was its chief 
port, B.C. 200. ATRI, the modern town upon the site, 
is now nearly twenty miles from the coast 

The present delta of the Po, containing 2,800 square 
miles, was probably at no very distant date a shallow 
lagoon, resembling that which is crossed by the railway 
viaduct between Mestre and Venice. The delta com- 
mences at the town of OSTEGLIA, now eighty-six miles 
from the sea. The name of Osteglia would indicate 
that here formerly was the embouchure of the Po. 
ESTE is nearly thirty miles inland, and the name seems 
also to be a corruption of the word ostia. The Po has, 
moreover, frequently changed its channel, and two of 
these deserted river-beds are known by the names of 

1 Niebnhr, Lectures on EthnoL and Geogr, vol. ii. p. 240 ; Lyell, Prin- 
cipleSy p. 256 ; Marsh, Man and Nature^ p. 256. 

* Lyell, Principles f p. 255 ; Beardmore, Hydrology^ pp. 164 — 180. 

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3 5 8 Physical Changes attested by Local Names. 

The name of VESUVIUS is probably Oscan, and proves, 
as Benfey thinks, that this volcano must have been in 
eruption some 2,400 years ago, before the Greeks 
arrived in Italy .^ A similar conclusion may be deduced 
from the fact that the name of ETNA means a "furnace'* 
in the Phoenician language.^ 

On the Bay of Baiae we find MONTE NUOVO, the " new 
mountain," which, at the time of the eruption in the 
year 1538, was thrown up to a height of 440 feet in less 
than a week.^ 

Near Primiero, in the Italian Tyrol, is a lake, three 
miles long, called LAGO NUOVO. This was formed a few 
years ago by a landslip which choked up the entrance 
to one of the narrow mountain valleys * 

The physical condition and the climate of the northern 
hemisphere have been largely affected by the destruction 
of the forests which once clothed the greater part of 
Europe.* The notices of ancient writers are seldom 
sufficiently definite or copious to enable us to discover 
the extent of the old woodland. Occasionally we have 
tangible evidence such as is supplied by the bog oak of 
Ireland, or the buried trees of Lincolnshire. But ancient 
names here stand us in good stead, and enable us, at 
certain definite periods, to discover with considerable 
precision, the extent of primaeval forests now partly or 
entirely destroyed 

1 Benfey, in Hofer's ZeUschrifty vol. ii. p. 1 18. Cf. the Sanskrit twnr, 

* See p. 93, supra. The name of sodom means burning, thereby indi- 
cating, as Dr. Stanley has suggested, the volcanic character of the r^on in 
'which the catastrophe took place. Sineu and Pal, p. 289. 

* Lyell, Principles of Geology^ pp. 366 — ^372. 

4 Gilbert and Churchill, Dolomite Mountains^ p. 451. 
B See Marsh, Man and Nature^ pp. 128 — 329. 


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Destruction of Forests. 359 

The local names of Iceland show in a very curious 
manner the way in which the rigour of the climate and 
the scarcity of fuel have caused the total destruction of 
the few forests of dwarf trees which existed at the time 
when the island was first discovered. At the present 
time, a solitary tree, about thirty feet in height, is the 
sole representative of the former Icelandic forests ; and 
the stunted bushes growing on the heaths are so eagerly 
sought for fuel that, as a recent traveller has observed, 
the loss of a toothpick is likely to prove an irreparable 
misfortune. The chief resource of the inhabitants is 
the drift-wood cast upon the coast by the gulf stream, 
or the costly substitute of Norwegian timber. But at 
the time of the first settlement of the island there must 
have been considerable tracts of woodland. In the Land- 
namabok we find no less than thirty-one local names 
containing the suffix Iiolty a wood, and ten containing 
the word skogr, a shaw. Most of these names still re- ' 
main, though every vestige of a wood has disappeared. 
Thus there are several places still called HOLT ; and we 
Snorro Sturleson was murdered), SKOGARFOSS, Cape 

The name of HOLSTEIN, or Hol-satia, means the Forest 
settlement, and it probably indicates, as Dr. Latham 
has observed,^ that the now barren Segeberger Heath 
was once a vast forest which supplied a portion of the 
Angles with the materials for the fleets with which they 
invaded the shores of England, 

In southern Europe names like BROGLio, BROLO, and 
BREUIL attest the former existence of forests in districts 

1 English Language^ vol. i. p. 123. 


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360 Physical Changes attested by Local Names. 

now entirely bare. The name of the island of MADEIRA 
bears witness to the vast forests which clothed the moun- 
tains of the island, and which were wantonly destroyed 
by fire soon after the discovery by the Portuguese,^ 

The bare heaths to the south-west of London seem 
to have been at one time partially clothed with forest 
This is indicated by the root holt (German <^oI)), 
which we find in the names of bagshot, badshot, 


The vast tract in Kent and Sussex which is now 
called the WEALD,' is the remains of a Saxon forest 
called the Andredesleah, which, with a breadth of 30 
miles, stretched for 120 miles along the northern frontier 
of the kingdom of the South Saxons. In the district of 
the Weald almost every local name, for miles and miles, 
terminates in hurst y ley, den^ or field. The hursts^ and 
charts^ were the denser portions of the forest ; the leys 
were the open forest glades where the cattle love to lie ; * 

^ Marsh, Man and Nature, p. 12^ So also local names attest thefonner 
existence of the forests which covered the noW bare slopes of the High 
Alps of Dauphiny. lb. p. 24. 

* Cf. the German wald^ wood well Street is the name of the Roman 
road which ran through the wooded district Maiuy, HiU, des Forits^ 
p. 129. 

* E.g. Penshurst, Lyndhurst, and Chiselhurst 

^ As in Seal Chart and Chart Sutton in Kent The word chart is identical 
with the hart (wood, or forest), which we find in such German names as the 
HARTZ Mountains, the hercynian Forest, hunhart, lyndhart, flkc H 
and ch are interchangeable, as in the case of the -Chatti, who have given 
their name to Hesse. There seems to have been a German word harmd or 
charudf from which hart and chart are derived We find it in the names of 
the "forest tribes," the Harudes and the Cherusd. Cf«Tatham, En^h 
Language, vol. t p. 57 ; Maury, Hist, des Forks, p. 187. 

» The root of the word leah or lea, is the verb " to lie," Kemble, Codcx' 
Dipt. voL iii. p. xxxiiL 


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The Weald. 


the dens ^ were the deep wooded valleys, and the fields * 
were little patches of "felled" or cleared lands in the 
midst of the surrounding forest. From PETERSFIELD 
HURST, and LAMBERHURST, as far as hawkshurst 
and TENTERDEN, these forest names stretch in an un- 
interrupted string.* The dens were the swine pastures ; 
and down to the seventeenth century the "Court of 
Dens," as it was called, was held at Aldington to deter- 
mine disputes arising out of the rights of forest pasture.* 

^ Den is probably a Celtic word adopted by the Saxons. The ardennes 
is the ''great forest" on the frontiers of Belgium and France. On the 
word den,, see Leo, RectitudineSy p. 91 ; Kemble, Saxons, vol. i. p. 481 ; 
Maury, Hist, des Forfts, p. 167. 

* E,g, Cuckfield, lindfield, Uckfield. On Jleid sec note on p. 160, supra, 
> An analysis of the forest names in the Weald gives the following 
results: — 







Central Kent .... 
Northern Sussex . . . 
Southern Surrey . . . 
Eastern Hants .... 


























* The surnames Hayward and Howard are corruptions of Hogwarden, 
an officer elected annually to see that the swine in the common forest pas- 
tures or dens were duly provided with rings, and were prevented from 
5tTa3ring. The Howard family first comes into notice in the Weald, where 
their name would lead us to expect to find them. So the family name of 
Woodwanl is vudu veard, the wood warden, whose duties were analogous 
to those of the howard. There are many evidences of the importance 
attached to swine in Anglo-Saxon times. F/itcA is etymologically the same 
word z&fldsck or fiesh, showing that the flesh of swine was pre-eminently 


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362 Physical Changes attested by Local Names, 

Another line of names ending in den testifies to the 
existence of the forest tract in Hertfordshire, Bedford- 
shire, and Huntingdonshire, which formed the western 
boundary of the East Saxon and East Anglian king- 
are vestiges of the great Warwickshire forest of ARDEN, 
which stretched from the forest of Dean to Sherwood 

The BLACK FOREST in Argyle is now almost entirely- 
destitute of trees, and the same is the case with the 
COTSWOLD Hills in Gloucestershire. This name con- 
tains two synonymous elements.^ The second syllable 
is the Anglo-Saxon weald, a wood, which we find in 
the now treeless WOLDS of Yorkshire ; and the first 
portion is the Celtic coed, a wood, which we find in 

The name of DERBY, the "village of wild beasts,"* 
shows us the state of things on the arrival of the Danes. 
The Midland Derby lay between the forests of Arden 
and Sherwood. The hundred of Derby, which occupies 
the southern portion of Lancashire, and includes the 
populous towns of Liverpool and Wigan, was one vast 
forest, with the solitary village of Derby standing in 

" the flesh " to which our ancestors were accustomed. Sir Walter Scott, 
in the well-known forest dialogue in Ivanhoe, has pointed out the fact that 
while veal, beef, mutton, and venison are Norman terms, bacon is Saxcnu 
Cf. Mrs. Grote, Collected Papers, p. 165 ; Kemble, Angh-Saxons, vol. i. pp. 
481 — ^486 ; Leo, RectUudines, p. 129; Marsh, Lectures on En^ish Langua,gLt 
p. 248. 

^ See pp. 210—213, supra, 

* Whitaker, History of Whalley, p. 9 ; Verstegan, Restitution, p. 26a. 

> The German word thier still means any wild animal ; but in En^and 
the extermination of the wolf, the vrild ox, and the badger, has left the 
*' deer " as the solitaiy representative of the German thier. 


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Forest-Names, 363 

the midst, till at length the villages of Ormskirk and 
Preston grew up around the church built by Ormr, and 
the priest's house.^ 

Indeed, Lancashire, which is now such a busy hive of 
workers, was one of the most desolate and thinly peopled 
parts of England before coal had been discovered under- 
lying her barren moorlands and thick forests. An 
analysis of the local names will enable us to make a 
rough comparison of the area anciently under cultivation 
with that which was unreclaimed. Throughout Lan- 
cashire we find very few names ending in borough^ by^ 
or thorpe^ and hence we conclude that the number of 
villages and towns was small. There is a fair sprinkling 
of names in haiUy worthy and cote^ suffixes which would 
denote detached homesteads ; while the very lai^e 
number of names which are compounded with the words 
shaWy holt, ley, hill, and merey prove that the greater 
portion of the county consisted only of woodland or wild 

In order to arrive at somewhat definite results an 
analysis has been made of the local names in the counties 
of Surrey and Suffolk. Of the total number of names 
in Surrey 36 per cent, have terminations like wood^ holt, 
hursty ley, detiy or moor, and 12 per cent, end in daUy 
combey ridge, hill, &c., while 40 per cent exhibit such 
suffixes as haniy worth, cotey totiy stedy or borough, whence 
we gather that the proportion of uninhabited to in- 
habited places was 48 to 40. In Suffolk, on the other 
hand, the population seems to have been much more 
dense, for 65 per cent, of the names denote habitations, 
18 per cent denote wood and moorland, and 7 per cent 

^ See Whitaker, History of Maruhestery vol. ii. p. 403. 
• Davies, in Philolog, Trans, for 1855, p. 262. 


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364 Physical Changes attested by Local Names, 

denote hills.^ It would thus appear that the ratio of 
the density of the population in Suffolk to that in Surrey 
was approximately as 13 to 8, whereas at the present 
time the population of Suffolk is 215 to the square mile, 
and that of Surrey 842, or in the ratio of 13 to 48. 

The names which we have been considering indicate 
the former existence of ancient forests that have been 
cleared. In Hampshire we are presented with the con- 
verse phenomenon ; we meet with names which establish 
a fact which has been doubted by some historical in- 
quirers, that extensive populated districts were afforested 
to form what now constitutes the New Forest The 
very name of the NEW FOREST has its historical value — 
and within its present reduced area, the sites of some of 
the villages that were destroyed are attested by names 
CHURCH MOOR, while the village names of Greteham, 
Adelingham, Wolnetune, and Bermintone survive only 
in the Domesday record.* 

The hundred is supposed to have been originally the 
settlement of one hundred free families of Saxon colonists, 

* We may tabulate these results as follows : — 

Names in 





or bury. 





Suffolk. . . . 
Surrey .... 












• Ellis, Introduction toD(fmesday, p. xxxiv. A colony of the dispossessed 
villagers was established at Carlisle by Rufus. Of this I can find no trace 
in local names. See Palgrave, Eng. Common, vol i. p. 449. 


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Populousness of Saxon England, 


just as the canton was a similar Celtic division.^ In 
rural districts the population must have increased at 
least tenfold — often in a much larger proportion — since 
the period of the formation of the present hundreds. 
Many single agricultural parishes contain a hundred 
families removed above the labouring class, and we may 
probably conclude that the population is equal to that 
one of the Saxon hundreds. 

The manner in which the island was gradually peopled, 
and the distribution and relative density of the Saxon 
population, are curiously indicated by the varying sizes 
of the hundreds. In Kent, Sussex, and Dorset, which 
were among the earliest settlements, the small dimensions 
of the hundreds prove that the Saxon population was 
very dense, whereas, when we approach the borders of 
Wales and Cumberland, where the Saxon tenure was 
one rather of conquest than of colonization, and where 
a few free families probably held in check a considerable 
subject population, we find that the hundreds include a 
much larger area. 

Thus the average number of square miles in each 
hundred is, 

In Sussex 23 

Kent 24 

Dorset 30 

Wiltshire 44 

Northamptonshire • . 52 

Surrey 58 

In Herts . . . 
Derbyshire . . 
Warwickshire . 
Lancashire . . 


We arrive at somewhat similar conclusions from the 
proportions of the slaves to the rest of the population, 
as returned in Domesday. In the east of England we 

1 From the Welsh cant^ a hundred. See Diefenbach, Cdtica^ i. pp. 113 
—115; Hallam, Middle Ages^ voL ii. p. 391. 


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366 Physical CJianges attested by Local Names, 

find no slaves returned, the Celtic population having 
become entirely assimilated. In Kent and Sussex the 
slaves constitute lo per cent, of the population: in 
Cornwall and Devon, 20 per cent ; and in Gloucester- 
shire, 33 per cent 

The knowledge which we possess of several thousand 
names which have been preserved in Anglo-Saxon 
charters, enables us to ascertain, in many cases, the 
original forms of names which have now become more 
or less corrupted. From the study of these names Pro- 
fessor Leo, of Halle,^ has arrived at the conclusion that 
agriculture was in a more advanced state among the 
Anglo-Saxons than on the Continent A three course 
system of husbandry was adopted ; wheat and flax axe 
the crops which seem to have been the most cultivated. 
We meet with indications of the existence of extensive 
estates, on which stood large houses, occasionally of 
stone, but more frequently of wood, for the residence of 
the proprietor, surrounded by the tun or inclosure for 
cattle, and the bartun or inclosure for the gathered 
crops. Round the homestead were inclosed fields, with 
bams, mills, and weirs. There were detached outlying 
sheepfolds and sheepcotes, with residences for the serfs, 
and special pasturages were allotted to swine and goatSw 
The estates were separated from one another by a mark^ 
or broad boundary of woodland. There were open 
forest-pastures fed by swine, which ipust have presented 
an appearance resembling that of the open parts of the 
New Forest at the present day. In these woodlands the 
prevalent vegetation consisted of the thorn, hazel, oak, 

^ Leo, Anglo-Saxon Natnes^ p. 72. See also Codex Diplomatiau vCsv 
Scuconiciy passim ; St John, Foiir Conquests of England^ voL ii. p. 191 ; 
Ellis, Introduction to Domesday Booky pp. xxx. — xliv. 


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Saxon Agriculture — English Vineyards. 367 

ash, elm, lime, and fern. The maple, beech, birch, aspen, 
and willow grew less abundantly. There were planta- 
tions of osiers, and the names of the rush and sedge 
occur so frequently as to indicate a very defective state 
of drainage. 

One fact, however, which we gather from these ancient 
names indicates a marked peculiarity in the aspect of 
Anglo-Saxon England. In no single instance through- 
out the charters do we meet with a name implying the 
existence of any kind of pine or fir, a circumstance 
which curiously corroborates the assertion of Caesar, 
that there was no fir found in Britain.^ The names of 
fruit-trees are also very unfrequent, with the exception 
of that of the apple-tree, and even this appears very 
rarely in conjunction with Anglo-Saxon roots, being 
found chiefly in Celtic^ names, such as appledore,' 
APPLEDURCOMBE, and AVALON ; or in Norse names, 

At the period of the Conquest, vineyards do not seem 
to have been uncommon in the south of England. In 
Domesday Book vineyards are mentioned in the coun- 
ties of Hertford, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, 
Hampshire, Dorset, and Wilts. At the present day a 
part of the town of Abingdon is called the vineyard, 
and there is also a field so called near Beaulieu Abbey 
in Hampshire, and another near Tewksbury. The same 
name is borne by lands which were formerly attached 
to monastic foundations in the counties of Worcester, 

1 See, however, Whitaker, History of Manchester^ vol. i. p. 309. 

t The root apple or apiU runs through the whole of the Celtic, Scandi- 
navian, Teutonic, and Sclavonic languages. See Diefenbach, Vergleich, 
Worterb. vol. i. p. 88. 

s Appledore in Romney Marsh was a favourite station of the Vikings. 
See Saxon Chronicle. Hastmg the Dane built a castle there. 


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368 Physical Changes attested by Local Nantes, 

Hereford, Somerset, Cambridge, and Essex, The very 
early existence of vine culture in England is indicated 
by the name of WINNAL in Hampshire, which is de- 
rived from the Celtic gwinllaUy a vineyard.^ 

Local names occasionally preserve evidence of the 
former existence of animals now extinct The names of 
the wolf and the bear were so commonly used as per- 
sonal appellations by the Danes and Saxons, that we 
are unable to pronounce with certainty as to the signi- 
ficance of names like WOLFERLOW in Herefordshire, or 
BARNWOOD in Gloucestershire. WOLVESEY, a small 
island at Winchester, was, however, the place where the 
Welsh tribute of wolves' heads was annually paid.^ The 
badger or broc gave its name to BAGSHOT, BROXBOURNE, 
and BROGDEN ; the wild boar (eofer) was found at 
the crane at CRANFIELD and CRANBOURN. 

The huge aurochs, which once roamed over the 
forests of Germany, is mentioned in the Niebelungen 
Lied by the name of the Wisent ; and in Hesse we find 
a place called wiesenfeld, the "aurochs' field," and 
another called WIESENSTIEGE, the "aurochs' stair."* 
We find traces of the elk at ELBACH and ELLWANGEN ; 
and of the Schelch, a gigantic elk, now everywhere 
extinct, at SCHOllnach.* 

The fox is unknown in the Isle of Man, and not even 

1 Redding, Wines, pp. 33, 34 ; Gough*s Camden, vol. i. p. 189 ; Lap- 
penberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, vol. ii. p. 360 ; Edinburgh Rtview, voL cxL 

P- 392. 

* Yonge, Christian Nanus, vol. ii. p. 269. 

' Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, p. 12; Morris, Local Names, p. 10; Monk- 
house, Etymologies, p. 40. 

4 Piderit, Ortsnamen, p. 296 ; Fo»temann, Ortsnamen, p. I45. 

■ Forstemann, Ortsnamen, p. 145 ; Marsh, Man and Nature, p. 85. 


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Extinct A nimals — The Beaver. 369 

a tradition survives of its former presence. A place 
called CRONKSHYNNAGH, which means "Fox hough," 
is, however, sufficient to prove that this animal was once 
a denizen of the island.^ 

The vestiges of the Beaver are very numerous. BE- 
VERLEY in Yorkshire is the " beaver's haunt," and we 
find a BEVERSTONE in Gloucestershire, and a BEVER- 
COATES in Nottinghamshire. The valley which stretches 
northwards from the Glyders, scored with glacial striae 
and dotted over with moraines, bears the name of NANT 
FRANGON, or "the beaver's dale"; and across this valley 
stretches SARN YR AFRANGE, or "the beaver's dam."^ The 
magnificent pool, well known both to the artist and to the 
angler, which lies just below the junction of the Lledr and 
the Conway, is called LLYN YR AFRANGE, " the beaver's 
pool."^ In Germany we have the names of BIBERSBURG,* 
BIVERBIKE (the beaver's beck),* and the BEBRA (anciently 
Piparaha, or beaver's river).* From the Sclavonic bobr^ 
a beaver, we have the River BOBER in Silesia, as well as 
AUJ BifeVRE on the Aisne has been identified with 
the BIBRAX of Caesar, and bibracte, now Autun, was 
the chief city of the iEduL The tribe of the BIBROCI no 
doubt called themselves " the Beavers," in the same way 
that North American tribes take their names from the 
snakes, the foxes, or the crows.® 

1 Train, Isle of Man, vol. L p. 2a 

* Pennant, WaieSy voL ii. p. 299. 
» Ibid. vol. il p. 134. 

-* Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ, vol, L p. 444. 

» Vilmar, Ortsnamen, p. 258. 

« Piderit, Ortsnamat, p. 297 ; Vilmar, Ortsftamen^ p. 256. 

7 Buttmann, Orisnamen, p. 124 ; Jaco})i, Ortsnamen urn Potsdam, 

p. 34. 

* Zeuss, Grammatka CelHca, vol. i. p. 44 ; voL ii p. 761 ; Gliick, Kelt 

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3/0 Physical Changes attested by Local Names, 

In the Saxon charters we find many allusions to 
quarries, but there is a remarkable absence of names 
denoting iron-works or mines, such names, for instance, 


ERZGEBERGE, which we find in Germany. In the Forest 
of Dean, however, we find on the map CINDERFORD 
and CINDERHILL, names derived from vast heaps of 
scoriae, from which the iron had been so imperfectly 
extracted by the Roman miners, that these mounds form 
a valuable consideration in the purchase of the ground 
on which they lie.^ The charters contain numerous 
indications of the localities where salt was procured or 
manufactured.^ Domesday Book enumerates no less 
than 385 salt-works in the single count>'' of Sussex. The 
wics in the Essex marshes were probably once salt- 
works, and we have already traced the singular way in 
which the wych or bay-houses on the coast came to 
give a name to the inland salt-works of DROITWICH and 
NANTVVICH.^ But the evidence of names enables us to 
prove that many existing salt-works were worked before 
the advent of the Teutonic race. This we can do by 
means of the Celtic word kal, salt; which we find in 
the name of PWLLHELLI, the " salt pools," in Carnarvon- 
shire. At HALING, on the Hampshire coast, salt-works 
still exist, which apparently date from Celtic times ; 

Namen^ p. 43 ; Forstemann, Orfsnamen, p. 145. The word beaver b 
common to roost of the Ar]ran languages. Latin fiber [=beber], Comisfa 
hefir^ Gaelic beabhor, Gaulish biber^ German beftr. The Welsh names are 
afranfVf and Host lydaiu, *' the broad-tailed. " On the former ezistenoe of 
the beaver in Scotland, see Wilson, Pre-historic Annals^ p. 193. 

1 Nicholls, Forest of Dean^ p. 216. 

s Ellis, Introduction to Domesday^ p. zl.; Lappenberg, AngUhSaxam 
KingSy vol. i. p. 363. 

' See p. X62, mpra. 


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Salt' Works — LightJtotises, 371 

and we find a place called HALTON in Cheshire, and 
HALSAL and HALLATON in Lancashire. In the salt- 
producing districts of Germany several towns whose 
names contain the Celtic root hal stand on rivers which 
contain the Teutonic synonym sal} Thus HALLE, in 
Prussian Saxony, stands on the river SAALA (salt river) ; 
REICHEN-HALL, in Bavaria, is also on a river SALE;* 
HALLEIN, in SALZBURG, stands on the SALZA. We find 
towns called HALL near the salt mines of the Tyrol, of 
Upper Austria, and of Swabia; there is a halle in 
Ravensberg, a HALLSTADT in the Salzkammergut, and 
HALEN and HAL in Brabant.* 

The institution of lighthouses dates from very early 
times, as names bear witness. The names of the PHAROS, 
at Dover and Alexandria, and the GIBEL EL FARO, near 
Malaga, take us back beyond the Christian era. In 
Sicily, the cape by the side of Charybdis, and opposite 
Scylla, was called cape pelorus (Cape Terrible). It 
has now become CAPO DI faro — the erection of the 
lighthouse having caused the Cape to lose at once its 
terrors, and its name of terror.* cape COLONNA, in 
Greece, takes its name from the conspicuous white 
columns of the ruined Doric temple which served as 
a landmark to the Genoese and Venetian seamen;^ 

^ An ingenious attempt to account for thiis distinction will be found in 
Leo, VarUsungen^ voL i p. 196. 

* There were six German rivers anciently called sala. Forstemann, Alt* 
iUut, Namenbuchy vol. iL p. 1209. We find the river halys (salt water) in 
Galatia, and the river halycus in Sicily. 

s On names containing tlxe root hal^ see Leo, ReciUudinesy p. 203 ; and 
an article by the same writer in Haupt's Zntschrifl, vol. v. p. 511 ; Grimm, 
Deut MyihoL p. 1000; Gamett, Essays^ p. 150; Bender, Deutschen Orts- 
namen^ p. 113 ; Mahn, Namm Berlin^ p. 6. 

4 Duff, in Oxford Essaysy for 1857, p. 93; Duke of Buckingham, Diary^ 
Tol i. p. 226. 

» Bremer, Gruce^ toL L p. 313. 

BB 2 n \ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

iyz Physical Changes attested by Local Names, 

and CAPE CORUNNA, in Spain, is so called from the 
columna or tower which served the purpose of a Pharos. 
The name of FLAMBOROUGH HEAD speaks of the rude 
fires of coal or wood that used to " flame" by night on 
that dangerous headland.^ At the extremity of the 
peninsula of FURNESS^ (Fireness) is a small island, on 
which stands a ruined building, called the PILE OF 
FOUDRY— that is, the **peel" or tower of the "fire isle"* 
Furness and Foudry are Norse names, and are an indi- 
cation of the antiquity of the lighthouse which guided 
the Northmen in their voyages from the Isle of Man to 
Lancaster.* The numerous BEACON HILLS throughout 
the island call to mind the rude though efficient means 
by which, before the days of the Electric Telegraph, the 
tidings of great events could be communicated from one 
end of the island to the other. There are those now 
alive who can remember looking out, the last thing every 
night, towards the Beacon Hill to know if the dreaded 
landing of Bonaparte had taken place. 

Though the commerce of the Anglo-Saxons was not 
extensive, yet our local names indicate considerable 
changes in the relative commercial importance of various 
towns. The natural advantages of the site of London 
have, enabled it to maintain, at all times, its ancient pre- 
eminence — for its Celtic name implies that, even in 
pre-historic times, it was, as it is still, the "city of 

^ This name may, however, mean the "camp of refuge.'* Anglo-Saxon 
fleam, a fugitive. The extremity of the headland has been conyerted into 
a stronghold by an ancient dyke still called Danes* Dyke. 

' Ferguson, Northmen^ p. 109. 

s It is possible, however, the Furness may be only the *'foreness^*' and 
Foudry the ** isle of fowls.'* 

^ There is also a furness on the Belgian coast 


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Commercial Changes, 373 

From the Anglo-Saxon ceapiatiy to buy, cypa^i, to sell, 
and ceap} price, or sale, we derive many names which 
indicate early seats of commercial activity. A chipping 
was the old English term for a market-place; thus 
Wicliffe translates Luke vii. 32, "They ben like children 
sitting in chepinge and spekinge togidre." Hence we 
CHEPING HILL on the south side of the church at Witham, 
CHEPSTOW, and CHIPPINGHAM, are ancient market- 
towns — once of much gredX^r relative commercial import- 
ance than they are at present CHEAPSIDE and EAST- 
CHEAP were the old market-places of London. In 
Norse names the form cope takes the place of the Anglo- 
Saxon ceap, COPENHAGEN^ is equivalent to Chipping 
Haven. In like manner we infer from the name of the 

* To this root we may trace many idiomatic English words. A chapman 
is an itinerant seller : chap was originally an abbreviated form of chapman. 
Ckmp^ an abbrevialion of good cheap, answers to the French bon marchi ; 
while gwd cheap still sundves in the phrase dog cheapo where the letters d. 
and g have been interchanged according to a well-known phonetic law. The 
original sense of the root is that of bargaining — the ancient method of 
making a purchase — ^which is preserved in the word to chaffer. To chop 
horses is to sell them. A horse couper is one who deals in horses. To chop 
and change is to sell and barter. To swop and to swab are probably pho- 
netic variations of to chop. Thus we say the wind chops, i.e. changes. 
The ultimate root is the Sanskrit kupa, the beam of a balance. Compare 
the old Sclavonic kupitiy to buy, the Gothic kaupotiy the Latin caupo^ and 
the Greek Kohn}Xof. Wedgwood, Eng, Etym. vol. i. p. 327 ; Pictet, Orig. 
IndO'Europ, part ii. pp. 416, 417. 

' Anciently Kiobmaens havn. The Norse word hoping^ is pronounced 
chaping. Hence we derive the names of jOnk^ping, lidcOping, ny- 
kOping, norrkOping. See Thompson, 1 ravels in Sweden^ p. 42, quoted 
in Crichton, Scandinavia^ vol. i. p. 226. KIEL and kiei.erfiord take 
their names from the Danish keol^ a ship. Morris, LoccU Names, p. 29. 
The name of the hanse towns seems to be from hansel^ a contract, or 
Aanse, a company or association. Wedgwood, in Philology Trans, for 
1860-61, p. 37. 


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374 Physical CJianges attested by Local Names. 

COPELAND Islands near Belfast, that here were the store- 
houses of the goods brought by Norwegian traders. 
COPMANSTHORPE, near York, would be equivalent to 
the German Kaufmansdorf, the merchants' village ; and 
the form of the word shows us that here the Danish 
traders resided, just as those of Saxon blood dwelt 
together at CHAPMANSLA*DK The word staple also 
enables us to detect some of the local centres of Anglo- 
Saxon trade. This word has undergone some changes 
in meaning. It now denotes the established merchandize 
of a place ; — thus we should say lace is the staple of 
Nottingham. But the term was formerly applied to the 
place rather than to the merchandize, and our forefathers 
would have said Nottingham is the staple of lace.^ In 
local names— as dunstable, BARNSTAPLE, and STAPLES 
in France— this word staple denotes a place where mer- 
chants were wont to store their goods.^ 

When the English word market takes the place of the 
Anglo-Saxon chipping, or staple^ as in the case of STOW- 
we ipay fairly conclude that the commercial importance 
of the town in question dates from a more recent period. 

^ See Trench, Glossary ^ p. 205. 

• It may be noted that the name of ampurias in Spain retains, nearly 
unchanged, the name of the Hellenic settlement of Emporia, 


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Changes and Errors. 375 



Vitality of Local Names — Recurrence to ancient Names — Changes in Names 
often simply phonetic — Lincoln — Sarum — Whitehall— Phonetic corruptions 
among savage tribes — Interchange of suffixes of analogous sound — Tendency 
to contraction — Laws of Phonetic change — Examples — Influence of popular 
efymological speculation on the form of Names — Tendency to make Names 
significant — Examples — Transformations of French Names — Invention of 
new Saints from Local Names — Transformed names often give rise to 
legends — Bozra — TTtongcastle — The Dun Cow— Antwerp — The Mouse 
Tower— The Amazons of the Baltic— Pilatus— The Picts—The Tatars 
— Poland — Mussulman — Negro-pont — Corruptions of Street-Names — 
America— The Gypsies, 

Professor Max MCller, in his deservedly popular 
lectures, has well illustrated the process of phonetic 
decay by which the words of a nation's speech are 
clipped and worn down by. constant currency, until, like 
ancient coins, the legend which they bore at first has 
become effaced. Many words, whose paternity is never- 
theless indisputable, do not retain a single letter, some- 
times not even a single vocable, of the ancestral form, 
and exhibit still less resemblance to collateral descendants 
from the parent stock. Who would imagine, for instance, 
that the French word larnie is the same as the English 
tear; that the French yi;ar is a lineal descendant of 
the Latin dies} or that dies, and the two syllables of 

^ Dies — diurnum tempus —giomo—jour, Aujourd^hui contains the root 
dies twice, the hui being a corruption of hodie=hoc die. Max Miiller, 
Lectures, p. 48; Lewis, Romance Languages, pp. 213, 220. 


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3/6 Changes and Errors, 

Tuesday are all descended from the same original Aryan 
root ? 

In the case of local names the raw materials of lan- 
guage do not lend themselves with the same facility as 
other words to the processes of decomposition and re- 
construction, and many names have for thousands of 
years remained unchanged, and even linger round the 
now deserted sites of the places to which they refer. 
The names of five of the oldest cities of the world — 
still pronounced by the inhabitants in exactly the same 
manner as was the case thirty, or perhaps forty, centuries 
ago, defying oftentimes, the persistent attempts of rulers 
to substitute some other name. During the three 
hundred years of the Greek rule, an attempt was made 
by the conquerors to change the name of HAMATH to 
Epiphania, but the ancient appellation lingered on the 
lips of the surrounding tribes, and has now resumed its 
sway, while the Greek name has been utterly forgotten. 
The name of Accho, which we find in the Old Testament, 
was superseded for some time by the Greek name of 
Ptolemais. This is now forgotten, and the place goes 
by the name of AKKA.^ The Greeks attempted to im- 
pose their name of Nicopolis on the town of Emmaus, 
but in vain ; for the modem name, 'AMWAs, still asserts 
the vitality of the ancient designation.^ We read, in the 
Book of Chronicles, that Solomon built TADMOR in the 
wilderness. The Romans attempted to impose on it 
the name of Adrianopolis, but this appellation has 
utterly perished, and the Bedouin still give the ancient 

^ Stanley, Sinai and Palestine^ p. 381 ; Robinson, Later ResearclUs^ 
p. 92. 
» Robinson, Later Researches^ p. 146. 


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Vitality of Local Names, 377 

name of Tadmor^ to the desolate forest of erect and 
prostrate columns, which marks the site of the city of 
the palms. TENEDOS and ARGOS still bear the names 
which they bore in the time of Homer. Most of the 
islands of the Grecian archipelago, and many of the 
neighbouring cities, retain their ancient names with little 
variation,^ and several of the Etruscan cities are called 
by the same names which they bore at the first dawn of 
Italian civilization.' 

But we need not go to the East for instances of the 
persistency with which names adhere to the soiL The 
name of LONDON is now, in all probability, pronounced 
exactly as it was at the time when Caesar landed on the 
coast of Kent. The Romans attempted to change the 
name, but in vain. It mattered little what the city on the 
Thames was called in the edicts of prefects and procon- 
suls. The old Celtic name continued in common usage, 
and has been transmitted in turn to Saxons, Normans, 
and Englishmen. It is curious to listen to Ammianus 
Marcellinus speaking of the name of London as a thing 
of the past — an old name which had gone quite out 
of use, and given place to the grand Roman name 

1 PALMYRA is an Italian trandation of the enchorial name of Tadmor, 
and is known only in the West See Beaufort, Egyptian Septdchres and 
Syrian Shrines^ vol. i. pp. 34, 302. 

« Delos is now dili, Paros is paro, Scyros is skyro, Naxos is naxia, 
Patmos is patimo, Samos is samo, Thasos is thaso, Sardis is s art, Sparta 
is SPARTI, Arbela is arbil, Tyre or Tzar is sur, Nazareth is NAZI rah, 
Joppa is YAFA, Gaza is ghuzzeh. 

» The names of saturnia and populonia are unaltered. Cdrtona is 
now CORTONO, Yokterrse is volaterra, Sena is sienna, Pisse is pisa, and 
Penisia is perugia. 

* Ab Augusti profectus, quam veteres adpellavere Lundinium. Amm, 
Marc* lib. xxviii. cap. 3, § i. Lundinium, vetus oppidum, quod Augustam 
posteritas adpdlavit. Ibid. lib. xxvii. cap. 8, § 7. 


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378 Changes and Errors. 

In like manner the ancient Indian name of HAITI 
has replaced the appellation of ST. DOMINGO, which 
the Spanish conquerors attempted to impose upon the 
island. But though so many names remain substantially 
unchanged in spite of efforts to supplant them, yet, as 
the successive waves of population have flowed on, 
many influences have been set at work which have 
sometimes produced material modifications, and it often 
requires the utmost care, and no inconsiderable research, 
to detect the original form and signification of very 
familiar names, and to extract the information which 
they are able to afford. 

These modifying influences are of two kinds. The first 
is simply phonetic. A conquering nation finds it difficult 
to pronounce certain vocables which enter into the names 
used by the conquered people, and changes consequently 
arise which bring the ancient names into harmony ^ath 
the phonetic laws of the language spoken by the con- 
querors. Many illustrations of this process may be 
found in Domesday. The *' inquisitors " seem to have 
been slow to catch the pronunciation of the Saxon 
names, and were, moreover, ignorant of their etymo- 
logies, and we meet consequently with many ludicrous 
transformations. The name of LINCOLN, for example, 
which is a hybrid of Celtic and Latin, appears in the 
Ravenna Geographer in the form Lindum Colonia, and 
in Beda as Lindocolina. The enchorial name must 
have been very nearly what it is now. This, however, 
the Norman Conquerors were unable to pronounce, and 
changed the name into Nincol or Nicole.^ The name of 
SHREWSBURY is an English corruption of the Anglo- 

* Dugdale, Monast Anglic, vol. il p. 645, apud Thierry, Norman Con- 
qtust^ p. 84. 


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Corruptions, 379 

Saxon Scrobbes-byrig or Shrubborough. The Normans, 
however, corrupted Scrobbesbury into Sloppesburie, 
whence the modern name of SALOP is derived. So also 
the Roman Sorbiodunum was contracted into the 
English SARUM, and then, as in the case of Salop, the 
Normans changed the r into an /, and have thus given 
us the form SALISBURY. 

In the Arabic chronicles of Spain we meet with many 
curious transformations of familiar names, such, for 
instance, as that of the Visigoths into the Bishtolkat.^ 

Mr. Motley, in his United Netherlands, has given an 
amusing instance from the archives of Simancas. A 
dispatch of the ambassador Mendoja stated that Queen 
Elizabeth was residing at the palace of St. James'. 
Philip II. according to his custom, has scrawled on the 
margin of this dispatch, " There is a park between it, 
and the palace which is called Huytal, but why it is 
called Huytal I am sure I don't know." WHITEHALL 
seems to have presented an insurmountable etymological 
difficulty to the " spider " of the Escurial. 

Among unlettered nations phonetic changes of this 
kind are especially likely to arise. The word YANKEE 
IS probably an Indian corruption of either Anglois or 
English? The Chinese call an Englishman Yingkwoh? 
the Bengalee calls him Inrej\ and corrupts the words 
champagne and coachman into the forms simkin and 
gurrawaun,^ At Fort Vancouver, the medium of inter- 

* Gayangos, Dynasties^ vol. i. p. 324. So the Indian names Misachibee 
and Tlaltelolco have been corrupted into Mississippi and guadalupe. 
Russell, Diary North and South y vol. i. p. 381 ; Yonge, Christian Names , 
vol. i p. 81. 

« Drake, Book of the Indians, book i. p. 23. 

' Fleming, TVavels on Horsdackf p. 116. 

^ Hotten, Slang Dictionary, pp. 148, 231. 


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380 Changes and Errors, 

course a few years ago was a curious Lingua Franca, 
composed of Canadian-French, English, Iroquois, Cree, 
Hawaian, and Chinese. The word for rum was lum, for 
money tula^ a corruption of dollar, and an Englishman 
went by the name of a Kintshosh, a corruption of King 
George.^ The Kaffirs of Natal call Harry Halt, and 
Mary Mali, The Egbas have turned Thompson into 
Tamahana, and Philip into Piripi? The Maoris make 
sad havoc of biblical names; they have transformed 
Lot to Rota, and Philemon to Pirimona? Sailors are 
especially given to such innovations. Jos-house, for 
instance, the name applied to the Buddhist temples in 
China, has been formed by English sailors out of the 
Portuguese word dios, god.* 

Anglo-Saxon suffixes of nearly similar sound some- 
times come to be interchanged. This has very fre- 
quently taken place in the case of stone and ton. Thus 
Brigges-stan has been transmuted into BRIXTON, and 
Brihtelmes-stan into Brighthelmstone, Brighthampton, 
and BRIGHTON. The change from don to ton is also 
common. Seccan-dun is now SECKINGTON,* and Beam- 

^ Wilson, Pre-kistoric Man, voL ii. p. 43 1. An American is called 
Boston^ and the ordinary salutation b Clakkohahyah, which is explained by 
the fact that the Indians, frequently hearing a trader named Clark, long 
resident in the Fort, addressed by his companions in the village, " Claris 
how are you ? " imagined that this sentence was the correct English fonn of 

■ Burton, Mission to Gelelc, vol. i. p. 32. 

* Yonge, Christian Names, voL i. p. 10. 

^ The sailors' transformations of H.M.S. Bellerophm into the BSfy 
Ruffian^ of the Andromache into the Andrew Mackay^ of the JEoius into 
the Alehouse, of the Courageux into the Currant Juice, and of the steamer 
Ilironddle into the Iron Demi, belong to another class of changes, which 
we shall presently consider. See p. 387, infra, 

» Sax, Chron, a.d. 755. 


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IntercJiange of Suffixes — Tendency to Contraction, 381 

dun is BAMPTON.i The suffix hithcy a haven, is changed 
into ey^ an island, in the case of STEPNEY, formerly 
Stebenhithe, and into heady in the case of Maidenhead, 
formerly Maydenhithe. In CARISBROOK, which was 
anciently Wihtgara-byrig, we have a change from burgh 
to brook? The suffix in the name DURHAM is properly 
not the Saxon ham^ but the Norse holniy and Dunelm — 
the signature of the bishop — reminds us also that the 
Celtic prefix is Dun^ a hill fort, and not Dur^ water.* 

Many of these changes seem to be simply phonetic, 
among which we may reckon Gravesham into GRAVES- 
END, Edgeworth into EDGEWARE, Ebbsham into EPSOM, 
Swanwick into SWANAGE, and Badecanwylla or Bath- 
well into BAKEWELL. The great tendency is to con- 
traction; as Home Tooke puts it, "letters, like soldiers, 
being very apt to desert and dropoff in a long march."* 
Thus we find Botolph's ton contracted into BO'STON, 
Agmondesham into AMERSHAM, and Eurewic into 
YORK. In London St. Olafs Street has been changed 
intoTOOLEY Street, and in Dublin into TULLOCH Street.* 
St Mary's Hall, Oxford, has been transformed into 
Skimmery Hall, and this has been abbreviated into the 
disrespectful appellation SKIM. St. Bridget is turned 
into St. Bride, St. Benedict into St. Bennet, St. Etheld- 
reda into St. Awdrey, St. Egidius into St. Giles.^ This 
tendency to contraction is often to be detected in the 

1 .SiMr. Chron, A.D. 614. 

« See p. 307, supra, 

» Durham is written Dnnholm in the Saxon Chronicle^ A,D. 1072. 

4 Tooke, Diversions of Purley^ part L ch. vi. p. 94. 

« Now pulled down. It was standing in the sixteenth century. 

« Territorial surnames show still more startling changes. St.- Denys has 
been corrupted into Sydney, St. Maur into Seymour, St. Paul into Semple, 
Sevenoaks into Snooks, and St. John and St. Leger ore pronounced Sinjun 
and Sillinger. 


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CJianges and Errors. 

pronunciation of names of which the more lengthened 
form is retained in writing. Thus CIRENCESTER is pro- 
nounced Cisester ; GLOUCESTER, Gloster ; WORCESTER, 
Worster ; barfreestone, Barston ; and trotters- 
CLIFFE, Trosley.^ In America, on the other hand, 
owing to the universal prevalence . of reading, the 
tendency is to pronounce words exactly as they are 
spelt, and WORCESTER is pronounced Wor-ces-ter, and 
ILLINOIS is called Illinoys.* 

In endeavouring to recover the original forms of 
names, it becomes important to discover the phonetic 
tendencies which prevailed among different nations. 
This is not the place to exhibit or discuss the laws of 
phonetic change which have been detected ; ' all that 

^ In Switzerland inghoftn is generally contracted into ikon^ as Benning' 
hofen into Bennikon. Meyer, Ortsnamen, pp. 127" — 136. 

9 In Samuel Rogers' youth every one said Lunnon ; we have now returned 
to Lundun. 

s '* Grimm's law," as it is called, enables us to identify cognate words in 
the Teutonic and Romance languages. It is 

In Greek and gene- \ 
rally in Sanskrit f 
and Latin, thei 
letters . . . ) 










Correspond in ) 
Gothic to . . J 










And in Old High ) 
German to . . j 










The changes from the Latin to the modem Romance languages are more 
simple. The chief correspondences are — 

Latin . . . 








J \ 

Romance Lan-) 
guages . . 5 





g, ch, k,t,s 





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Plionetic Changes, 


can here be attempted is to illustrate them by a few 
characteristic instances. 

The tendency among the German nations is to de- 
velop the sibilants and gutturals; among the Romance 
nations to suppress these and develop the mutes and 
liquids. Thus in the name of the river Atesis or Atygis, 
how harsh is the German name — the ETSCH ; how soft 
and harmonious the Italian development of the same 
word — the ADlGE. Again we may compare the German 
lDttich with the French Li^GE, or we may contrast 
the German change of Confluentes into COBLENTZ with 
the soft effect produced even in cases when the Italians 
have introduced sibilants, as in the change of Florentia 
into FIRENZE, or Placentia into PIACENZA. 

But the best illustration of these phonetic tendencies 
will be to enumerate a few cases where the same root 
has been variously modified by different nations. Let 
us take the Latin word forum. The Forum Julii, in 
Southern France, hcis become FRifijUS ; and, in Northern 
Italy, the same name has been changed to FRIULI. In 
the Emilia we find FORLI (Forum Livii), FOSSOMBRONE 

Latin . . . 








Romance Lan-"> 
giiagea . .J 








See Bopp, VergUick, Gramm,; Grimm, Geschtchte der Deut. Sprache^ vol. L 
pp. 294 — ^434 ; Schleicher, Die Sprachen Europas ; Bunsen, Brit, Assoc. 
Reports for 1847, p. 262 ; Edinb. Rev, vol. xciv. pp. 318, 319 ; Prichard, 
Eastern Origin^ pp. 179—200; Mone,' Celt, Forschungen ; Donaldson, 
Varronianus ; New CratyittSy pp. 144 — 190 ; Max Miiller, Lectures, second 
series, pp. 198 — ^222; Pott, Etymol. Forschungen; Diez, Rom, Gram, 
voL L pp. 175—253; Lewis, Romance Languages; Milman, Hist, Latin 
Christianifyi voL vL p. 343. 


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384 Changes and Errors, 

(Forum Sempronii), FERRARA (Forum AUieni), and 
FORNOVO (Forum Novum). In Central Italy we have 
FORCASSI (Forum Cassii), FIORA (Forum Aurelii), FOR- 
FIAMMA (Forum Flaminii), and FORLIMPOPOLI (Forum 

With these compare the German name klagenfurt 
(Claudii forum), the Dutch VOORBOURG (Forum Ha- 
driani), the French FEURS (Forum Segusianorum), and 
the Sardinian FORDONGIANUS (Forum Trajani). 

Or let us take the changes effected in the Greek word 
7roXt9, a city. Neapolis, in Italy, has become NAPLES, 
in the Morea it has become NAUPLIA. Neapolis, near 
Carthage, is now NABEL, and Neapolis, in Syria, is nIbu- 
LUS or NABLtrs.^ TRIPOLI is little changed ; Amphipblis 
is now EMBOLI, Callipolis is GALLIPOLI, Antipolis is 
ANTIBES, Gratianopolis is GRENOBLE. STAMBOUL, or 
ISTAMBOUL, the modern name of Byzantium, is not, 
as might be imagined, a corruption of Constantinopolis, 
but of h rav iro>uv? a phrase analogous to that which 
we use when we speak of a journey to London, as going 
" to town." In like manner STANKO, the modem name 
of the Island of Cos, is a corruption of €9 rav Kj&? 

1 Robinson, Biblical Researches^ vol. iii. pp. 96, 119. 

' Stanley, Sinai and Palestine, p. 246 ; Leo, Vorlesungen, vol. i. p. 196. 

s The same process of the incorporation of preposition and articles maj 
be seen in zermat, an derm at. Many German names b^[inning with M 
are due to am or im prefixed to Celtic names. Thus Oersberg has become 
changed to marsberg, Eppenthal to meppenthal, Achenthal to machcn- 
THAL. So with MOSBACH, MEICHES, and many othen. Mone, (Uli. 
Forsch, pp. 157, 180. THAXTED is probably The Axstead, THISTLEWORTH 
is The Istle-worth, atford and otford are At the ford, and abridgk is At 
the bridge. Also in Spain the Arabic article Al is often incorporated into 
the name. See p. 106, supra, luxor, one of the four villages which 
stand on the site of ancient Thebes, is a contraction of £1 Eksor, the 
palaces. Fairholt, Up the Nile^ p. 266. 


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Phonetic Changes. 385 

We find the word Trajectus in ATRECHT or ARRAS 
(Atrebatum Trajectus), maestrecht (Mosae Trajectus), 
and UTRECHT (Ultra Trajectum).^ 

The Romanized Celtic suffix iacum is changed into 
ay in France and ach in Germany, while in Brittany and 
Cornwall the original form is ordinarily retained.* Thus 
Cortoriacum is now COURTRAY, Camaracum is CAMBRAY, 
Bagacum is BAVAY, and Toumacum is TOURNAY. An- 
tunacum is now ANDERNACH, Olimacum is LYMBACH, 
Vallacum is WILNPACH, and Magontiacum is MAINTZ. 

The manner in which personal names have entered 
into the names of places has been referred to in a 
previous chapter.' A few instances may be here again 
enumerated as affording admirable illustrations of di- 
verse phonetic tendencies. Thus the name of Augustus 
is found in the Spanish ZARAGOSSA (Caesarea Augusta), 
and BADAJOZ (Pax Augusta) ; in the Italian AOSTA 
(Augusta) ; in the French AOUST (Augusta), AUCH 
(Augusta), and AUTUN (Augustodunum) ; in the German 
AUGSBURG (Augusta), and AUGST (Augusta) ; and the 
English AUST passage (Trajectus Augusti). We find the 
word Julius or Julia in LILLEBONNE (Julia Bona), 
LOUDON (Juliodunum), in BJ5JA in Portugal (Pax Julia), 
in jClich or JULIERS (Julicacum), in ZUGLIO (Julium), 
and in FRIULI and FRijus (Forum Julii) ; and the name 
of Constantius or Constantinus is found in CQNZ, COU- 

1 The word trajectus may have sometimes been confounded with the 
Celtic traeth^ sands. See Diefenbach, Origines Eitropaa, p. 429; 
De Belloguet, Ethnog, p. 139; Ludlow, in Philolog, Trans, for 1857, 
p. IS. 

s E,g, Flabenec, Bourbriac, Loudeac, and Gourarec in Brittany, and 
Bradock, Boconnoc, Isnioc, Ladock, Phillack, Polbathick, andj Polostoc 
in Cornwall. 

* See pp. 316, 317, supra. 

C C 

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386 Changes and Errors. 

Some additional changes, valuable as illustrating pho- 
netic laws, are added in a note.^ 

The changes that have hitherto been discussed may 
be considered as natural phonetic changes— changes 
bringing combinations of letters from one language into 
harmony with the laws of another. 

We have now to consider a class of corruptions which 
have arisen from a totally different cause. Men have 
ever felt a natural desire to assign a plausible meaning 
to names — ^to make them, in fact, no longer sounds, but 
words. How few children, conning the atlas, do not 
connect some fanciful speculations with such names as 
the CALF OF MAN, or IRELAND'S EYE ; they suppose 
that JUTLAND is the land which "juts out," instead of 
the land of the Jutes ;* they suppose that Cape HORN 
has received its name, not, as is the fact, from the birth- 
place of its discoverer,' but because it is the extreme 
southern horn of the American continent, and names 
like the ORANGE River, or the RED Sea are, unhesi- 
tatingly, supposed to denote the colour of the waters, 
instead of being, the first a reminiscence of the extension 
of the Dutch empire under the house of Orange, and 
the second a translation * of the Sea of Edom.* 

^ Eburovioes and Evreux, Vesontio and Besan^on, Vinovium and Bin- 
Chester, Bononia and Boulogne, Chatti and Hease, Aquitania and Guienoe^ 
Olisippo and Lisbon, Agrigentum and Girgenti, Aletium and Lecd, Aqiue 
and Aix. In French names a final » or j* b often added, as in the caae of 
Dibio and Dijon, Matesco and Ma9on, Brigantio and Brian9on, Massilia and 
Marseilles, Londinium and L^ondres. 

« Trench, Study of Words^ p. 86. 

> See p. 28, supra. 

^ So the YELLOW SEA and palmyra are translated names. Magna, the 
Roman station, is now Car-voran, from the Celtic vawr^ great. 

^ Similar misconceptions are black H£ATK (bleak heath); the Isle of 


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Erroneous Etymology, 387 

This instinctive causativeness of the human mind, this 
perpetual endeavour to find a reason or a plausible 
explanation for everything, has corrupted many of the 
words which we have in daily use,^ and a large allowance 
for this source of error must be made when we are in- 
vestigating the original forms of ancient names. No 
cause has been more fruitful in producing corruptions 
than popular attempts to explain from the vernacular, 
and to bring into harmony with a supposed etymology, 
names whose real explanation is to be sought in some 
language known only to the learned.* Names, significant 
in the vernacular, are constructed out of the ruins of 
the ancient unintelligible names, just as we find the 

Wight, see p. 307 ; Trinidad, p. 12 ; Gateshead, p. 253, supra, Florida is 
not the flowery land, but the land discovered on Easter Day, Pascua florida, 
p. 13. The FINSTER-AAR-HORN is not, as guidebooks tdl us, the peak of 
the Black Eagle, but the peak which gives rise to the Glacier of the black 

' We may enumerate the well-known instances of buifetier corrupted into 
beefeater, lustrino into lute-string, asparagus into sparrow-grass, coat-cards 
into court-cards, shuttlecork into shuttlecock, mahlerstock into maulstick, 
^crevisse into crayfish, dormeuse into dormouse, dent de lion into dandy 
lion, quelques choses into kickshaws, contre danse into country dance, ver 
de giis into verdigrease, weissager into wiseacre, and hausenblase or stur- 
geon's bladder into isinglass. A groom used to call Othello and Desdemona 
— ^two horses under his charge— by the names of Old Fellow and Thursday 
Morning. The natives called Miss Rogers (authoress of ** Domestic Life 
ill Palestine ") by the name of narijus, "the lily," as the nearest approxi- 
mation to her name which they were able to pronounce. Ibrahim Pacha, 
during his visit to England, was known to the mob as Abraham Parker. 
See Whewell, in Pkilolog, Proceedings, vol. v. p. 138; Wedgwood, in 
Philolog, Trans, for 1855, pp. 66—71 ; Wilton, Negeb, pp. 140, 218; 
Farrar, Origin of Language^ pp. 57, 58; Mayhew, German Life and Man- 
ners, vol. il p. 404 ; Dixon, Surnames, p. v. ; Trench, English Past and 
Present, pp. 243—253 ; Study of Words, p. 87. 

Erroneous etymologies are unfortunately by no means confined to the 
unlearned. Witness Baxter's derivation of Kirkcudbright {i,e. Church 
of St Cuthbert). It is, he %0iy^, forsan, Caer giu aber rlt, i>. Arx trajectus 
fluminei i£stuarei ! ! Glossarium, p. 40. 

c c 2 n \ 

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388 . Changes and Errors. 

modern villages of Mesopotamia built of bricks stamped 
with the cuneiform legend of Nebuchadnezzar.^ 

Teutonic nations, for instance, inhabiting a country 
covered with ancient Celtic names, have unconsciously 
endeavoured to twist those names into a form in which 
they would be susceptible of explanations from Teutonic 
sources. The instances are innumerable. The Celtic 
words alt maen mean high rock. In the Lake District 
this name has been transformed into the OLD MAN of 
Coniston.^ In the Orkneys a conspicuous pyramid of 
rock, 1,500 feet in height, is called the OLD MAN of Hoy ; 
and two rocks on the Cornish coast go by the name 
of the OLD MAN and his MAN. The DEAD MAN, another 
Cornish headland, is an Anglicization of the Celtic dod 
maen, brown willy, a Cornish ridge, some 1,370 feet 
in height, is a corruption of Bryn Huely the tin-mioe 
ridge.* Abermaw, the mouth of the Maw, is commonly 
called BARMOUTH;* Kinedar has been changed into 
KING EDWARD ; Dun-y-coed, a "wooded hill" in Devon- 
shire, is now called the DUNAGOAT ; and EASTBOURNE 
was, no doubt, the eas-bourne,* or water-brook ; the t 
having crept in from a desire to make the Celtic prefix 
significant in English.* 

Similar transformations of Celtic and Sclavonic names 
are to be found on the Continents In Switzerland the 

^ See Edinburgh Review^ vol. xciv. p. 33 1. 

» Davies, in Philolog. Trans, for 1855, p. 2 1 9. 

s Welli, or wheal, which occurs so often in the mining share list, is % 
corruption of the word hwl^ a tin mine. 

4 Baxter, Glossarium^ p. 69. 

» A reduplicated name. See p. 211, sufra, 

• Gough's Camden, vol. i. p. 296. 

'^ See a paper by Forstemann in Kuhn*s Zeitschrift, vol. i. p. 10^ sej. The 
numerous instances given by Mone, in his Cdtische Forschungen, most be 
received with caution. 


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Transformation of Celtic and Saxon Names, 389 

Celtic Vitodunim has been Germanized into WINTER- 
THUR ; ^ Noviomagus is now NIMWEGEN ; Alcmana is 
ALTMChl ; ^ and the FREUDENBACH, or joyful brook, 
is, probably, a corruption of the QAXxc ffrydan^ a stream.* 
The Sclavonic Potsdupimi has become POTSDAM, Melraz 
is mCllrose, and Dubrawice DUMMERWITZ.* 

Anglo-Saxon and Norse names have not escaped 
similar metamorphoses. The name of MAIDENHEAD 
has given rise to the myth that here was buried the 
head of one of the eleven thousand virgins of Cologne,* 
but Mayden hithe, the ancient form of the name, shows 
that it was the wharf midway between Marlow and 
Windsor. So MAIDSTONE and MAGDEBURG are not the 
towns of maids, but the town on the Medway, and the 
town on the plain,® HUNGERFORD, on the border between 
the Saxons and the Angles, was anciently Ingleford, or 
the ford of the Angles.^ 

Fitful head, in Shetland, familar to all readers of 
the Waverley Novels as the abode of Noma in 'The 

^ FSrstemann, AlUdeut, Namenbuchf rol. il p. 446. 

« Forstemann, Ortsnamen^ P* 3^3* 

s Forstemann, Ortsnamen^ p. 314. On the Gerauinization of Sclaironic 
names see a paper by Bronisch in the Neues Lausitzisches Magazin, 
vol. xvii. pp. 57—73- 

* Mone, Celt. Forsch. p. 7. Mone thinks the oelbach, or oily brook, 
is from the Irish oil, a stone, and that the teufelstein, or Devil's Stone, 
is from the Celtic dnbhaUy the black rock. Ibid. p. 175. 

* The Cologne myth of the eleven thousand viigins seems to have arisen 
from the name of St Undecemilla, a virgin martyr. The insertion of a 
single letter in the calendar has changed this name into the form, *' Undecem 
millia Virg. Mart" The bones of the eleven thousand, which are reve- 
rently shown to the pious pilgrim, have been pronounced by Professor Owen 
to comprise the remains of all the quadrupeds indigenous to the district. 

* See p. 232, supra. For the legends respecting the Mons Puellarum, 
as Magdeburg was called, see Panzer, Deut, Myth. pp. 122, 272, 370. 

7 Inglefield, in the immediate neighbourhood, has retained the ancient 
form. See Gongh's Camden, vol. i. p. 215. 


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390 Changes and Errors. 

Pirate/ has received its present not inappropriate name, 
by reason of a misconception of the original Scandi- 
navian name HviUfell, the white hill ;^ CAPE wrath, 
beaten, it is true, by wrathful storms, was originally 
Cape Hvarfy a Norse name, indicating a point where the 
land trends in a new direction ;^ and the Norse Vedra- 
fiordr^ the firth of Rams (wethers), is now WATERFORD 
in Ireland* 

In the Lake District we also find some curious trans- 
formations of Norse Names, silly wreay is the happy 
nook, CUNNING GARTH is the King's Yard, CANDY 
SLACK is the bowl-shaped hollow.^ 

As might have been expected, French and Norman 
names in England have been peculiarly liable to suflTer 
from these causes. ChAteau Vert, in Oxfordshire, has 
been converted into SHOTOVER Hill ; Beau chef into 
BEACHY Head ; and Burgh Walter^ the castle of Walter 
of Douay, who came over with the Conqueror, now 
appears in the form of bridgewater. Beau lieu in 
Monmouthshire, Grand font, the great bridge over the 
Fal in Cornwall, and Bon gu^y or the good ford, in 
Suffolk, have been Saxonized into BEWLEY Woods, 
GRAMPOUND,* and BUNGAY. Leighton BeaU'd^s€rt\i^s 
been changed into LEIGHTON BUZZARD ; and the brazen 
eagle which forms the lectern in the parish church is 
gravely exhibited by the sexton to passing strangers as 
the original buzzard from which the town may be sup- 
posed to derive its name.*^ 

^ Symington, Faroe and Iceland^ p. 8. 

3 Laing, Ileimskringia, voL i. p. 144. 

s Cf. Mealy Sike, Heedless GiU, &c Feiguson, Northmen^ p. 1261 

4 Gough^s Camden, vol. l p. 20. 

B The French colony of Beauregard, in Brandenburg, has been Ger- 
manized intoBURENGAREN or Bauemgartcn (peasants' garden). ForstemaBD, 
in Kuhn's Zeitschrift, vol. i. p. 21. 


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Transformation of French Names. 391 

In Canada, where an English speaking population la 
encroaching on the old French settlers, the same process 
of verbal translation is going on. " Les Ch^neaux," or 
channels, on the River Ottawa, are now the SNOWS. So 
" Les Chats" and "Les Joachims" on the same river are 
respectively becoming the SHAWS and the sw ASKINGS, 
while a mountain near the head of the bay of Fundy, 
called the "Chapeau Dieu," from the cap of cloud 
which often overhangs it, is now known as the 
SHEPODY Mountain. The River Quah-Tah-Wah-Am- 
Quah-Duavic in New Brunswick, probably the most 
breakjaw compound in the Gazetteer, has had its name 
justifiably abbreviated into the Petamkediac, which has 
been further transformed by the lumberers and hunters 
into the TOM KflDGWICK.^ 

Anse des Cousins, the Bay of Mosquitoes, has been 
turned by English sailors into NANCY COUSINS Bay; 
they have changed Livorno into LEG-HORN ; and the 
nautical mind has canonized a new saint, unknown even 
to the BoUandists, by the change of Setubal into ST. 
UBES. So Hagenes, the Norse name of one of the Scilly 
Isles, has become ST. AGNES.^ Soracte, the mountain 
whose snowy summit is sung by Horace,^ has been 
added to the list of saints by the Italian peasantry, and 
receives their prayers under the name of ST. ORESTE.* 
The name and legend of ST. GOAR, who is said to have 
dwelt in a cavern on the Rhine, where the river furiously 
eddies round the Lurlei rock, is supposed by certain 

1 Hon. Arthur Gordon, in Vacation Tourists for 1862-3, p. 484; 
Quarterly ReineWf voL cxvi. p. 27, 

« Times, March 26th, 1864. 

» Vides, ut alta stet nive candidum Soracte. 

< Duke of Buckingham, Private Diary, vol. iii. p. 171 ; Whewell, in 
Fhilolog, Proceedings, vol. v. p. 141. 


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392 Changes and Errors. 

sceptics to have originated in a corruption of the German 
word gewirr, sl whirlpool.^ In this instance it is not 
improbable that the hagiologists may be right and the 
philologists wrong. The name of a well-known saint is 
sometimes substituted for one less familiar. Thus St 
Aldhelm's Head, in Dorset, has become ST. alban'S 
HEAD.^ Occasionally the name of the saint apparently 
disappears, submerged beneath some obtrusively tempt- 
ing etymology, as in the case of St. Maidulf 's borough, 
which has become MARLBOROUGH. 

The Hebrew name JERUSALEM was reproduced under 
the form Hierosolyma^ the holy city of Solomon, owing 
to a mistaken derivation from the Greek Upo^, A 
mountain on the eastern coast of Africa, opposite Aden, 
received the Arabic name of GEBEL FIEL (elephant 
mountain), from the remarkable resemblance of the 
outline to the back of the elephant From the re- 
semblance of the sound the name was corrupted in the 
Periplus into Mons Felix.* 

Many instances may be cited of the manner in which 
legends are prone to gather round these altered names. 
The citadel of Carthage was called BOZRA, a Phoenician 
word meaning an acropolis. The Greeks connected this 
with /Si^po-a, an ox-hide, and then, in harmony with the 
popular notions of Tyrian acuteness, an explanatory 

^ Mayhew, German Life and Manners^ vol. ii. pp. 370^ 398. 

■ Farrar, Origin of Language, p. 59. The process of the creation of 
new saints is illustrated by the case of the eleven thousand virgins (see 
p. 389, supra), as well as by that of St Veronica, whose name arose finom a 
transposition of the letters of the mongrel phrase vera icon. See WheweU, 
in Pkilolog, Proceed, vol. v. p. 141 ; Yonge, Christian Na$n€s^ vol L 
p. 424- 

' Trench, English Past and Present, p. 237 ; Farrar, Origin of Lang. 
p. 59. 

* Buckingham, Autobiography, vol. iL p. 395, 


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Myths evolved from Names. 393 

legend was concocted, which told how the traders, who 
had received permission to possess as much land as an 
ox-hide would cover, cut the skin into narrow strips, 
with which they encompassed the spot on which the 
Carthaginian fortress was erected.^ 

We find the same legend repeated in the traditions 
of other countries. The name of THONG castle, near 
Sittingboume, is derived from the Norse word tunga^ a 
tongue of land, which we find in the Kyle of Tongue in 
Sutherlandshire. This name has given rise to the tradi- 
tion, that Dido's device was here repeated by Hengist 
and Horsa. The same story is told of Ivar, son of 
R^^nar Lodbrok, in order to account for the name of 
THONG CASTOR, near Grimsby.* 

The legend of the victory gained by Guy of Warwick, 
the Anglian champion, over the dun cow, most probably 
originated in a misunderstood tradition of his conquest 
of the Dena gau^ or Danish settlement in the neighbour- 
hood of Warwick.* 

The name of ANTWERP denotes, no doubt, the town 
which sprang up '* at the wharf." But the word Ant- 
werpen approximates closely in sound to the Flemish 
handt werpeUy hand throwing. Hence arose the legend 
of the giant who cut off the hands of those who 
passed his castle without paying him black mail, and 
threw them into the Scheldt* 

* Bochart, voL iii. p. 470 ; Trench, English Past and Present^ p. 238. 

* The legend is found also among the Thnringians and the Russians. 
Grimm, Deut, Rechtsalt p. 90, apud Pictet, Orig, Indo-Europ, part ii. p. 51 ; 
Latham, ChanndlsUs, p. 338; Cough's Camden, voL ii p. 338 ; Verstegan, 
Resiituiion^ p. 133 ; Skinner, Etymol, s. v. 

* Donaldson, English Ethnography^ p. 54. 

* Motley, Dutch Republic^ vol. i p. 711 ; Salvcrte, Essai sur les Noms, 
vol. ii. p. 294 ; Chamock, Local Etymology^ p. 14. The giant was killed 
by Brabo, the eponymus of Brabant. 


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394 Changes and Errors. 

The legend of the, wicked Bishop Hatto is well known. 
It has been reproduced by Southey in a popular ballad, 
and it is annually retailed and discussed on the decks of 
the Rhine steamers. At a time of dearth he forestalled 
the corn from the poor, but was overtaken by a righteous 
Nemesis — having been devoured by the swarming rats, 
who scaled the walls of his fortress in the Rhine. The 
origin of this legend may be traced to a corruption of 
the name of the maut-thurm^ or custom-house, into the 
mAUSE-THURM, or Mouse-tower.^ 

The story of Roland the crusader, and his hapless 
love for the daughter of the Lord of Drachenfels, is 
perhaps a still greater favourite with the fairer portion 
of the Rhine tourists. It is sad to have to reject the 
pathetic tale, but a stern criticism derives the name of 
ROLANDSECK from the rolling waves of the swift current 
at the bend of the river, which caused the place to be 
called the rollendes-ecke by the passing boatmen.* 

Near Grenoble is a celebrated tower, which now bears 
the name of la TOUR SANS VENIN, the tower without 
poison. The peasantry firmly believe that no poisonous 
animal can exist in its neighbourhood. The superstition 
has arisen from a corruption of the original saint-name 
of San Verena into sans venin? The superstitions which 
avouch that birds fall dead in attempting to fly across 
the DEAD SEA and the LAKE AVERNUS {aopvo^ have 
originated in similar etymological fancies. 

In the Swedish language a woman is called quinna^ or 
quimty a word nearly allied to the obsolescent English 

^ Forstemann, in Kuhn's ZeUschrift Jur Vergieich, Sprackforschsng^ 
vol. i. p. 6. 
* Mayhew, Gertnan Life and Manners^ voL ii. p. 405, 
' Max Miiller, Lectures, 2d series, p. 368. 


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Myths evolved from Names. 395 

word quean} as well as to the appellation of the highest 
lady in the land. The Finns also call themselves 
Qvcens, a Euskarian word, which is no way related to 
the Teutonic root. The misunderstood assertions of 
travellers as to this nation of Qvcens gave rise to the 
legend respecting a tribe of Northern Amazons ruled 
over by a woman. This myth must have come into 
existence even so early as the time of Tacitus, and we 
find it repeated by the geographer of Ravenna, by King 
Alfred, and by Adam of Bremen.^ The last-named writer 
confuses all our notions of ethnological propriety by the 
assertion that there are Turks to be found in Finland. 
He has evidently been misled by the fact that Turku was 
the ancient enchorial synonym for the city of Abo.^ 

PiLATUS, the mountain which overhangs Lucerne, 
takes its name from the cap of cloud which frequently 
collects round this western outlier of the mountains of 
Uri. The name has originated the poetic myth of the 
banished Pilate, who, torn by remorse, is said to have 
haunted the rugged peak, and at last to have drowned 
himself in the lonely tarn near the summit of the 

Drepanum, now TRAPANI, in Sicily, was so called from 
the sickle-shaped curve of the sea-shore — Spiiravov, a 
sickle. A Greek legend, preserved by Pausanias, affirms 

-^ Gay speaks of "the dread of every scolding quean." 

* "Circa hsec litora Baltici maris ferunt esse Amazonas, quod nunc terra 
feminarum dicitur," &c Adam of Bremen, De situ Danice, p. 15. See 
also Zeuss, Du Detttschen^ p. 687 ; Prichard, Researches^ vol. iii. p. 273 ; 
Latham, Nationalities of Europe^ vol. i. p. 164 ; Latham, Gennania^ p. 174 ; 
Buckle, Hist, of Civilisation^ vol. i. p. 275. 

* De situ Dania, p. 1 1 ; Cooley, Hist, of Maritime and Inland Discovery, 
voL L p. 211 ; Buckle, Hist, of Civilit. vol. i. p. 275. 

* Salverte, Essai sur les Noms, vol. ii. p. 291 ; Murray, Handbook for 
Stxriizerland, p. 39. 


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ig6 Changes and Errors. 

that the name is a record of the fact that it was here 
Kronos threw away the sickle with which he had killed 
Uranos.^ And various myths have clustered round the 
river LYCUS, as if it had been the Wolf river (Xi;ico9, a 
wolf) instead of the White river (Xcvaco?, white), as is 
no doubt the case.* 

The names of countries and nations have often suffered 
in this way. The Celtic name Pehta, or Peicta, "the 
fighters/* has been Latinized into PICTI, the painted 
savages of the Scottish Lowlands.^ In the case of the 
Berbers, a people in Northern Africa, the ^in the enchorial 
name seems to have been changed into an a, from a 
desire to establish a connexion with the Greek word 
jSdplSapoi, and the name of BARBARY still remains on our 
maps to remind us of the error.* 

A similar instance of the change of a single letter in 
accordance with a fancied etymology occurs in the case 
of the TATAR hordes, which, in the thirteenth century, 
burst forth from the Asiatic steppes. This terrible in- 
vasion was thought to be a fulfilment of the prediction 
of the opening of the bottomless pit, spoken of in the 
ninth chapter of the Revelation, and in order to bring 

^ Movers, PAonizigr, pL ii. vol. il p. 312 ; Welsford, English Language, 
p. 194. 

> So around the name of the Lycian Apollo, the light-giver, have col- 
lected mythologic legends of the wolf-destroyer. Miiller, DorianSy voL L 

p. 315. 

• See p. 81, supra ; Trench, Sfudy of Words, p. 86. 

* See p. 61, supra ; Barth, Travds, vol. i. p. 124 ; Movera, DiePhonisitr, 
pt. ii. vol. ii. pp. 390, 391 ; cf. Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. vi p. 427, 
chap. Ii. The name of the Berbers is found in an ancient Egyptian inscrip- 
tion. Kenrick, Ancient Egypt, vol. ii. p. 248. In the time of Herodotus 
the word fidpfioftoi was i4>plied to all nations who spoke languages onintdli- 
gible to the Greeks. Afterwards it was restricted to all tribes beyond 
the pale of the Roman empire, and is now confined to certain tribes of 
northern Africa. 


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Polandn^Mussulman — Negropont 397 

the name into relation with Tartarus, the word Tatar 
was written, and still continues to be written, in the 
form Tartar?- 

Our English name of POLAND is likewise founded on 
a misconception. The country consists of vast plains, 
and from the Sclavonic polky a plain, is derived the 
German plural form Polen or Pohlen, the men of the 
plains. In the old English writers we meet with the 
name Polayn, which is an admissible Anglicization of 
the German word. But the more recent change of 
Polayn into Poland is due to the desire of substituting 
an intelligible word for an unintelligible sound. The 
correct formation, following the analogous case of Switz- 
erland, would be Polenland. 

So the Arabic MOSLEM IN, already a plural form, has 
been corrupted into Mussulman, which is taken for a sin- 
gular, and from which have been formed those anomalous 
double plurals — Mussulmen and Mussulmans.* 

Negropont, the modem name of the island of 
JEubcea, is a corruption due, probably, to Genoese and 
Venetian mariners. The channel dividing the island 
from the mainland was anciently called Euripus, in 
allusion to the swiftness of the current ; and at one 
time the land on either side projected so far as nearly 
to bridge the space between the two shores. The town 
built at this spot received the name of the channel, and 
was called Evripo, or Egripo, a name which has been 

1 Plebs Sathanse detestanda Tartaroniin . . . exeuntes ad instar dae- 
xDonum solutorum \ tartaro, ut bene Tartari, quasi tartarei nuncupentur. 
Matt Paris, HUt Major, p. 546, A.D. 1240. See p. 81, supra; Prichard, 
/Researches, vol. iv. p. 278; Wedgwood, mPhUolog. Trans, for 1855, p. 72; 
Edinburgh Rev. vol. xciv. p. 308 ; Trench, English Past and Present, 
p. 239 ; Buckle, Hist, of Civilization, vol. I p. 288. 

• See Forstemann, in Kuhn*s Zeitschrift, vol. L p. 17. 


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'398 Changes and Errors. 

converted by Italian sailors into Negripo, or NEGROPONT, 
the *' black bridge;" and, finally, the name of the town 
was extended to the whole island. ^ 

Some of the most curious transformations which have 
been effected by popular attempts at etymologizing are 
those which have taken place in the names of the streets 
of London. 

Sheremoniers Lane was so called from being the 
dwelling-place of the artizans whose business it was to 
shear or cut bullion into shape, so as to be ready for the 
die. The name, as its origin became forgotten, passed 
into Sheremongers Lane, and after a while, from the 
vicinity of St. Paul's Cathedral, and an analogy with 
Amen Corner, Ave Maria Lane, and Paternoster Row, 
it became SERMON Lane.* After the loss of Calais and 
its dependencies, the artizans of Hames and Guynes, 
two small towns in the v^icinity of Calais, took refuge in 
England. A locality in the east of London was assigned 
for their residence, and this naturally acquired the name 
of the old home from which they had been expelled, 
and was called Hames et Guynes. The vicinity of the 
place of execution on Tower Hill probably suggested 
the change of the name to HANGMAN'S GAINS.* Among 
many similar changes we may enumerate that of the 

1 Talbot, English Etymologies^ p. 53 ; Salverte, Essai sur la Nfims, 
vol. ii. p. 301 ; Bremer, Greece, vol, ii. p. 89. So also the name of the 
MOREA seems to have arisen from a transposition of the letters of Romea, 
the ancient name. The usual explanation is that the name Morea is due to 
the resemblance of the peninsula in shape of a mulberry leaf. This is too 
abstract an idea, and it argues a knowledge of geographical contour whidi 
would hardly be possessed by the mediaeval sailors among whom the name 
arose. See Salverte, Essai sur les Noms, vol. ii. p. 305. 

• Cunningham, Handbook of London, p. 734. 

' Stow, Survey^ book v. p. 299 ; Cunningham, Handbook^ p. 3<^. 


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Street Names. 399 

Convent of the Chartreuse into the chartered school now 
called the CHARTER HOUSE. Guthurun Lane, which 
takes its name from some old Danish burgher, has become 
GUTTER Lane, the change having been, doubtless, 
suggested by the defective condition of the drainage. 
Grasschurch Street, where the old grass market was held, 
became — first. Gracious Street, and then GRACECHURCH ' 
Street. Knightengild Lane has become NIGHTINGALE 
Lane, Mart Lane is now changed to MARK Lane, Des- 
mond Place to DEADMAN's Place, Snore Hill to SNOW 
Hill, Candlewick Street to CANNON Street, Strype's 
Court to TRIPE Court, Leather Hall to leadenhall, 
Cloister Court, Blackfriars, to GLOSTER Court, Lomes- 
bury to BLOOMSBURY, St. Olave's Street to TOOLEY 
Street,^ St. Osyth's Lane to SISE Lane, St. Peter's-ey to 
BATTERSEA, and Stebenhithe to STEPNEY.* 

In New York there is a square called GRAMMERCY 
SQUARE, a name popularly supposed to be of French 
origin. But the true etymology is indicated in one of 

1 Compare the name of TIBBS Row, in Cambridge, a corruption of St. 
Ebbe's Row. 

' The curious transformations in the signs of inns have often been com- 
mented upon. For instance, we have the change of the Belle Sauvage to 
the Bell and Savage ; the Pige washael, or the Virgin's greeting, to the Pig 
and Whistle; the Boulogne Mouth, ue. the mouth of Boulogne harbour, 
the scene of a naval victory, to the Bull and Mouth ; the Bacchanab to the 
Bag o' Nails ; the vintnei's sign of the Swan with two Nicks to the Swan 
with two Necks ; and the Three Gowts (sluices) in Lincoln, to the Three 
Goats. Mr. Wedgwood, however, in a paper in the Transactions of the 
Philologkal Society for 1855, pp. 62 — 72, is inclined to hold as apocryphal 
8ome of the cases usually cited. Cf. Whewell, in PhU, Proc. vol. v. p. 140 ; 
Timbs, Curiosities of London^ pp. 397—402 ; Taylor, Antiquitates Curiosa^ 
p. 60 ; Cunningham, Handbook. Cf. also the change of the name of the 
Ittst-garten, or tea-garden, called Philomeles lust^ nightingales' delight, into 
Viellmanris lust^ many men's delight Forstemann, in Kuhn*s Zeitschrift^ 
ToLi. p. 21. 


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400 Changes and Errors. 

the old Dutch maps, in which we find that the site is 
occupied by a pond called De Kromnu Zee^ the crooked 

In addition to the corruptions already considered, 
there are misnomers which are due to mistakes or 
misconceptions on the part of those by whom the names 
were originally bestowed. Prominent among these is 
one which has been already referred to, and which has 
bestowed the name of Amerigo Vespucci upon the 
continent which Columbus had discovered. The names 
of the WEST INDIES, and of the RED INDIANS of North 
America, are due to the sanguine supposition of Colum- 
bus that his daring enterprise had in truth been rewarded 
by the discovery of a new passage to the shores of India. 
The name of CANADA is due to a mistake of another 
kind. Canada is the enchorial word for **a village." 
When the French explorers first sailed up the St 
Lawrence, it would seem that, pointing to the land, they 
asked its name, while the natives thought they inquired 
the name given to the collected wigwams on the shore, 
and replied Canada.^ 

A notable instance of a name arising from an errone- 
ous ethnological guess occurs in the case of the GIPSIES. 
Their complexion, their language, and many of their 
customs, prove them to be a Turanian tribe which has 
wandered from the hill-country of India. Dr. Wilson, 
an Indian missionary, found some gipsies in Palestine 

1 Notes and Queries^ vol. ii. p. 428 ; Cooley, History of MariHmi mtd 
Inland Discaveryy voL iu p. 140 ; Chamock, Local Etymol. p. 58 ; Dimke, 
Book of the Indians^ book i. p. 23. The etymology from the Indian wofds 
kan^ mouth, and ada^ a country, has also been suggested. The etymology 
from the Portuguese ca nada, " Here is nothing," has been gravely pro- 
posed ! This Portuguese exclamation is supposed to express the disap- 
pointment of the French discoverers at the desolate aspect of the country. 


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T}ie Gipsies. 401 

with whom he could converse in one of the dialects of 
Western India. When they appeared in Europe in 
the beginning of the fifteenth century, their dark com- 
plexion and their unknown language seem to have sug- 
gested the erroneous ethnological guess that they were 
Egyptians, a word which has been corrupted into 
Gipsies. Their own name for themselves, ROMANI, indi- 
cates their temporary sojourn in the " Roman " colony 
of Wallachia.^ A belief that they came immediately 
from Eastern Europe is also implied by the French name 
BOHi^iENS, unless, indeed, as has been suggested, the 
name Bohemian be derived from an old French word 
boem, a Saracen.^ The Danes and Swedes regard them 
as Tatars, the Dutch call them HEIDEN or Heathen, the 
Spaniards call them GITANOS, (Gentiles,*) and the Ger- 
mans and Italians call them ZIGANAAR, ZIGEUNER, or 
ZINGARI, that is, the wanderers.* 

^ See p. 57, supra, note. 

* In Germany they are popularly regarded as Saracens. Pott, Zigeuner^ 
voL i. p. 30. 

8 Or, perhaps, a corruption of the name Egyptians. Pott, Zigeuner^ 
voL i. p. 31. 

* See Buyers, Northern India, p. 151 — 153; Gardner, Brazil, p. 147; 
/^rentier Lands of the Christian and the Turk, voL i. p. 385 ; Trench, Study 
0/ Words, p. 86 ; Pott, Die Zigeuner in Europa und Asien, vol. i. p. 58 ; 
Prichard, Researches, vol. iv. p. 616. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

402 Words derived front Places. 



Growth of Words out of names — Process of TransformcUion — Exampla ; 
cherry^ peachy chestnut^ toalnut, quince^ damson^ Guernsey lify, currant, 
shallot, coffee, cocoa, and rhubarb — Tobacco — Names of vtines and liqueurs 
"—Gin, negus, and grog — Names of animals : turk^, ermine, sable — Breeds 
of horses — Fish — Names of Minerals ; loadstone, magnet, agate, jet, nitre, 
ammonia — Textile fabrics—Manufartures of the Arabs : muslin, damask, 
gauze, fustian — Manufactures of the Flemings: cambric, diaper, duck, 
ticking, frieze — Republics of Northern Italy — Cravats — Worsted — Names 
of vehicles — The coach — Names of weapons — Indentions called from, the 
name of the inventor— Pasquinade, punchy harlequin, charlatan, vaude- 
ville — Mythical derivations — Names of coins — Moral sigftificance attacked 
to v.H}rds derived from Ethnic Names — Examples ; Gothic, bigot, cretiUj 
frank, romance, gasconade, lumber, ogre, fiend, slave— A^ames of servile 
Paces — Tariff— Cannibal — Assassin — Spruce — Words derived from the 
practice of Pilgrimage: saunter, roam, canter ^ fiacre, tawdry^ fiask — 
History of the word palace. 

All local names were once words. This has been the 
text of the preceding chapters ; we have hitherto been 
endeavouring to make these words — long dumb — once 
more to speak out their meaning, and declare the lessons 
which they have to teach. We now come to the con- 
verse proposition. Many words were once local names. 
We find these words in all stages of the process of 
metamorphosis — some unchanged — some so altered as 
to be scarcely recognisable. In fact, it is only by 


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Etymological Botany. 403 

watching the process of transmutation in actual pro- 
gress in the linguistic laboratory of Nature that we are 
able to trace the identity of some of the products, so 
strangely are they altered. 

Let us take a few familiar instances. So short a time 
has elapsed since the introduction of French beans or 
Brussels' sprouts, that the names have undergone no 
phonetic changes — the information which they convey 
needs no interpreter. We may now proceed to an 
analogous case where the first stage in the transforma- 
tion of names into words has already commenced. We 
have almost ceased to speak of Swede turnips, Ribstone 
pippins^ or Savoy cabbages, but the adjectives Swede, 
Ribstone, and Savoy have already become substantives, 
and the farmer talks of his SWEDES and the gardener of 
his RIBSTONES and his SAVOYS. In these instances the 
words themselves have as yet remained uncorrupted; 
but in the case of the cherries called MAYDUKES a 
further process of transformation has taken place. The 
word Mayduke is a corruption or Anglicization of the 
name Medoc, a town in the Gironde, from which these 
cherries were introduced.^ But the word CHERRY is 
itself a local name, still more disguised, since it has 
passed through the alembic of two or three languages 
instead of one. The English word Cherry, the German 
jlirf^e, and the French Cerise^ all come to us from the 
Greek, through the Latin, and inform us that this fruit 
was first introduced from Cerasus,* a town on the Black 

First grown in the Garden of Ribstone Hall in the West Riding. 

• Sankey, Port/euilU^ p. 52. 

' Compare the Armenian geras, and the Persian cardsiyka, 

* Now, probably, Kheresoun. See, however, Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ, 
part i. p. 244. 

D D 2 n \ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

404 Words derived from Places, 

We shall find it instructive thus to examine the names 
of a few of our common plants and animals, with the 
double object of tracing historically the process by 
which words become disguised, and of showing the aid 
which etymology is able to render to the naturalist 

To begin with the PEACH. This word, like Cherry, 
has had an adventurous life, and has retained still less 
resemblance to its original form, the initial / alone re- 
maining to remind us of the native country of the peach. 
The English word is derived immediately from the 
old French pesche. The j, which has been dropped ^in 
the English form, gives us a clue to the origin of the 
word ; and when we find that the Italian name is pesca 
or persictty the Spanish persigo, and the Latin pcrsicum, 
we discover that the peach is a Persian fruit^ The 
Nectarine comes also from the same region, but tells us 
its story in a different way. The name is itself a Persian 
word, meaning " the best" kind of peach ; and the Latin 
name of Apricots,^ mala armeniaca, refers them to a 
neighbouring district. 

The CHESTNUT is often improperly spelt chesnut, as 
if it were the cheese-like nut. But the mute /, which 
could never have crept into the word, whatever may be 
the danger of its ultimate disappearance, is valuable as 
an indication of the true etymology, as well as of the 
country in which the tree was indigenous. The French 
CMtaigfte or Chastaigney and still more plainly the 
Italian Castagnay and the Dutch Kastanie, point us to 
Castanaea, in Thessaly, as its native place.* 

1 Talbot, English Etymologus^ p. 475 ; Diez, Eiym, Wbrtcrb, p. 259. 
Compare the Dutch namt persikboom, 

* Abricot is an Arabic word. For its curious history see Engelmaim, 
GiossairCy p. 13, 

• See, however, Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. part L p. 249. 


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Peach — CJtestnut — Walnut — Quince. 405 

The London urchins, whose horticultural studies have 
been confined to Covent Garden, probably suppose that 
the WALNUT is a species of Wallfruit. In German, 
however, the word takes the form SQBalfc^c 9lu^, which 
would indicate that it is either the foreign nut, or the 
nut from Walschland or Italy.^ Though the former is, 
perhaps, the more probable etymology, yet we must 
remember that the walnut is pre-eminently the tree of 
Northern Italy, as will be acknowledged by all who 
have rested beneath the spreading shade of the gigantic 
walnut-trees of the Piedmontese valleys, or who have 
crossed the wide plains of Lombardy, where the country 
for miles and miles is one vast walnut orchard, with 
the vines swinging in graceful festoons from tree to 

The word QUINCE preserves only a single letter of 
its original form. The English word is a corruption of 
the French coing? which we may trace through the 
Italian cotogna to the Latin cotonium or cydonium ma- 
lum, the apple of Cydon, a town in Crete. 

The cherry, the peach, the quince, and the chestnut 
are very ancient denizens of Western Europe. Not so 
the DAMSON, which was only imported a few centuries 
ago. If we write the word according to the older and 
more correct fashion — damascene — ^we are able at once 

1 See p. 62, supra ; Talbot, Engiisk Etymol. p. 307 ; Max Miiller, Lec- 
tures, 2nd series, p. 367. Compare the Anglo-Saxon wealk-hnuty and the 
Old Norse val-hnot 
* See the *' Romaunt of the Rose" :— 

** And many homely trees there were 
That peaches, coinesy and apples here ; 
Medlers, plunmies, peeres, chesteines, 
Cherise, of which many one faine is." 
This passage also exhibits chestnut and cherry in a transitional stage of 
adoption from the French. 


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4o6 Words derived from Places, 

to trace its identity with the Prtinum Damascenuniy or 
plum from Damascus.^ The DAMASK ROSE came from 
the same city in the reign of Henry VII. and we learn 
how rapidly the culture of the beautiful flower must 
have extended from the fact, that in less than a century 
Shakespeare talks of the damask cheek of a rosy maiden, 
showing that the name had already become an English 

The science of etymological botany has its pitfalls, 
which must be avoided. The GUELDER ROSE, for instance, 
is not, as might be supposed, the rose from Guelderland, 
but the elder rose, as is shown by the natural affinities 
of the plant, as well as by the ancient spelling of the 
name.^ An attempt to give a geographical significance 
to the name has probably led to the modification of the 
spelling. The same cause has undoubtedly been at 
work in corrupting the name of the girasole — ^the Italian 
turnsole or sunflower — into the JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE, 
out of which some ingenious cook has concocted Pales- 
tine soup ! * 

The name of the GUERNSEY LILY contains a some- 
what curious history. The flower is a native of Japan, 
where it was discovered by Kaempfer, the Dutch botam'st 
and traveller. The ship which contained the specimens of 
the new plant was wrecked on the coast of Guernsey, and 
some of the bulbs having been washed ashore, they germi- 
nated and spread in the sandy soil. Thence they were 
sent over to England, in the middle of the seventeenth 

1 The greengage was introduced by one Gage, belonging to an old Suf- 
folk family of that name. Borrow, Wild Walts^ voL il p. 99. 
« See Whewell, in Philolog, Proceed, vol. v. p. 136. 
» Talbot, Engiish Etymologies, p. 88. 
4 Max Miiller, Lectures, second series, p. 368. 


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Currant — Coffee — Cocoa, 407 

century, by Mr. Hatton, a botanist, and son of the 
Governor of Guernsey.^ 

The small dried grapes called CURRANTS were, in the 
last century, called "corinths," or Corinth grapes, Corinth 
being the chief port from which they were shipped. The 
currants of our gardens seem to have received their 
name from their superficial resemblance to the currants 
of commerce. 

The SHALLOT, a species of onion, comes to us from 
Ascalon, as will appear if we trace the name through 
the French form khalottey and the Spanish escalona, to 
the Latin Ascalonia? SPIN AGE is, perhaps, olus Hispa- 
nicuniy and the Arabs call it Hispanachy the Spanish 
plant.^ COFFEE has been traced to the mountains of 
Caffa, south of Abyssinia, where the plant grows wild ; 
and MOCHA,* where it was first cultivated, still gives a 
name to the choicest growth. In like manner BOHEA, 
CONGOU, HYSON and SOUCHONG are geographical terms 
on a map of China. JALAP comes from Xalapa, or Jalapa, 
a province of Mexico. Another Mexican province, Choco, 
has given us the names of CHOCOLATE and CACAO. The 
coco or cocoa nut, however, has no botanical * or etymo- 

1 Beckmann, History of Inventions^ voL i. p. 516; Ansted, Channel 
Islands^ p. 499. 

• Diez, Etymolog. Wbrterb, p. 305 ; Menage, Origines^ pp. 278, 786. 

' Or, perhaps, the name is derived from the spines on the seed. See 
Beckmann, Hist, of Inventions^ voL ii p. 340 ; Notts and Queries^ voL xii. 
p. 253. 

^ Hartwig, Tropical World, p. 189. 

■ The cacao, or cocoa nibs, which produce the beverage, are beans borne 
in the pods of a shrub, (Theobroma cacao,) which has no resemblance or 
affinity to the palm-tree, (Cocos nucifera,) which produces the coco nut, or 
to the coca or coco { Erythroxylon coca,) a herb whose leaves are chewed 
by the Peruvians, as a powerful stimulant-narcotic. The distinctive spel- 
ling of these three productions, cacao, cocoa, and coca should be carefully 
observed. See Burton, Abeokuia, vol. I p. 47. 


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4o8 Words derived from Places. 

logical connexion with cacao. The Portuguese term 
for a bugbear is coco, and the word seems to have been 
applied to the palm nut on account of the appearance 
of a mask or face which is produced by the three holes 
at the extremity of the shell.^ CAYENNE, CHILIS, 
SEVILLE and CHINA oranges, PERUVIAN bark, and 
BRAZIL nuts are examples of names that have remained 
undisguised by etymological changes. The brazil 
WOOD of commerce does not, however, as might have 
been thought, derive its name from the country ; but, on 
the contrary, that vast empire was so called from the 
discovery on its shores of a dye wood,^ which produced 
the Brazil colour, or colour of glowing coals.^ The slopes 
of Sinai were formerly overgrown with the SENEH, or 
wild acacia-tree, a shaggy thorn-bush ; and it is more 
probable that the plant takes its name from the moun- 
tain than the mountain from the plant* SQUILLS are 
possibly from Squillace, and CARRAWAYS, Pliny tells us, 
are from Caria. RHUBARB is a corruption of Rha 
barbarunty or Rha barbaricum (German Rliabarber^ 
Italian Rabarbaro), the root from the savage banks of 
the River Rha, or Volga.^ DRAGONWORT is a curiously 

1 Marsh, Lectures on English Langtioge^ p. 143. 

• The Casalpinia crista^ which grows profusely in the forests of BiazU* 
Hartwig, Tropical Worlds p. 240. 

' The word brazil is found in our literature as early as the reign of 
Edward I. Talbot, English Etymologies ^ p. 451 ; Hinchliff, South American 
SketcheSy p. 232. French braise, Portuguese braza, live coals. Hence the 
English braser, sometimes improperly written brasier, a vessel for containing 
live coals. 

* Stanley, Jewish Church, p. 108; Sinai a?ul Palestine, p. 18. Cf. Greek 
fiAppa—irfi6pva, myrrh. 

Huic Rha vicinus est amnis, in cujus superciliis quxdam vegetabilis 
ejusdem nominis gignitur radix, proficiens ad usus multiplices medelarum. 
Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxii. cap. 8, § 28. See MuUer, Ugrisckt 
Volkstamm, vol. ii. p. 87. 


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Tobacco, 409 

corrupted name. It comes from Tarragona in Spain. 
The word TAMARIND is from the Arabic tdmarliendiy 
which means the Indian date.^ INDIGO is indicum^ the 
Indian dye; and GAMBOGE is from Cambodia. Jen- 
jibre^ the Spanish form of the word GINGER, looks as if 
the root had been imported from Zanzibar, while the 
Arabic form Zenjebel seems to point to the mountains 
of Zend, or Persia. Sugar CANDY seems to be from 
Candia; and this view is supported by the fact that 
kand is the Turkish word for sugar of every kind.^ The 
CYPRESS tree comes from the island of Cyprus, and the 
SPRUCE fir is the Prussian fir. 

" There is an herbe," says an old voyager, " which is 
sowed apart by itselfe, and is called by the inhabitants 
Vppowoc; in the West Indies it hath diuers names 
according to the seuerall places and countreys where it 
groweth and is used ; the Spanyards generally call it 
TOBACCO. The leaues thereof being dried and brought 
into pouder, they use to take the fume or smoake 
thereof, by sucking it through pipes made of clay, into 

their stomacke and head This Vppowoc is of so 

precious estimation amongst them (the Indians), that 
they think their gods are maruellously delighted there- 
with: whereupon sometime they make hallowed fires, 
and cast some of the pouder therein for a sacrifice."* 
The general estimation in which the growth of Tobago* 

1 Diez, Etym, WdrUrbuck^ p. 340 ; Freytag, vol. i. p. 424, b. 

s In Moslem countries an inordinate quantity of sugar is consumed. A 
very large number of the Arabic words now existing in the Spanish and 
Portuguese languages denote preparations of sugar. See Engelmann^ Glos» 
saire^ passim. 

• See Hariot, " Brief and true report of the new found land of Virginia," 
apud Hackluyt, Voyages^ vol. iii. p. 271. 

4 There is also a province of Yucatan called Tabaco. Adelung thinks 


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4IO Words derived from Places. 

was held has caused the name of this island to become 
the general designation of the " herbe.** Laodicea, the 
mother of Seleucus Nicator, gave her name to a city on 
the Syrian coast, and the "herbe" shipped from this 
port goes by the name of LATAKIA tobacco — a name 
which exhibits a curious geographical juxtaposition. 
Another choice growth is called YORK RIVER, a name 
familiar to the readers of telegrams from the seat of 
war, and derived from the Duke of York, afterwards 
James II. cuBAS, havannahs, vevavs, and Manil- 
las are also among the "diuers names" derived from 
"the seuerall places and countreys where the herbe 

The names of wines are, with few exceptions,^ derived 
from geographical sources. The CHIAN and the SAMLAN 
came from islands of the Grecian archipelago. The 
FALERNIAN, of which Horace was so fond, was the 
produce of a volcanic hill-side near Naples. Falemian 
has already been driven from the cellar to the school- 
room, and the vine disease threatens to do the same 
with CANARY and MADEIRA. CAPE comes from South 
Africa. Three of the old provinces of France give 
their names to champagne, BURGUNDY, and rousillon. 
There is a vineyard near Rheims called SILLERY, CHABLIS 
is a town in northern Burgundy not far from Auxerne, 

that the word tobacco is not derived from either of these local names, bat 
vice versd : the word may, perhaps, be derived from the Haitean iamiai», 
a pipe, or, as some have thought, the word may have been adopted from an 
Indian name of the plant. Against this it may be urged that the Indian 
word for tobacco is 4pp6woc. Wilson, Pre-historic Man^ voL L p. 3S3 ; 
Drake, Book of the Indians^ book iv. p. 6. 

^ Such as TENT, which is derived from the Spanish tinU)^ in allusion to its 
rich colour. The name of claret is derived from its clearness. No 
Frenchman, however, speaks of, or drinks, clairet. This is the mixtnue 
manufactured solely for the English market. 


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Wines, 41 1 

and SAUTERNE IS a village near Bordeaux. MEDOC is 
the name of the vast sandy plain which lies between the 
Gironde and the ocean. The town of manzanares and 
the VAL DE PENAS, or valley of rocks, are both in the 
province of La Mancha. AST! is a town near Marengo. 
TOKAY is situated in the north-east of Hungary. 

Many of the wines of commerce, as BORDEAUX and 
LISBON, receive their English names from the port of 
shipment rather than from the place of growth. So 
PORT is the wine exported from Oporto, and the wines 
of Sicily are shipped from MARSALA, an Arabic name 
meaning " the Port of God,'* and reminding us, as we 
drink it, of the almost forgotten story of the Mahometan 
conquests in Southern Europe. MALMSEY is a contrac- 
tion of MALVASIA, having been originally shipped from 
Napoli di Malvasia, a port in the Morea. 

Malaga and xeres are also places of export rather 
than of production. The Spanish x being pronounced 
like the ck in German, the word sherris, on English lips, 
is a very fair approximation to the name of the town of 
Xeres, which, since Shakespeare's time, has been the 
grand emporium of the Spanish wine trade. The sack 
or sherris sack, upon whose excellent '* twofold opera- 
tion " Falstaff so feelingly dilates,^ is Xeres sec, or dry 
sherry as we should call it. The term sack was applied 
to all the dry wines of Canary, Xeres, and Malaga : 
thus we read of Canary sack, Malaga sack, Xeres sack.^ 

It would be curious to trace the progress of the per- 
version whereby the wines which in the fifteenth century 

1 Henry IV. second part, act iv. scene 2. 

> See Hackluyt, apud Redding, Wines, p. 21 1; Drake, Shakspeare and 
his Times, vol. ii. p. 130J Ducange, s. v. saccatum; Ford, Gatherings from 
Spain, p. 15a 


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412 Words derived from Places. 

used to be correctly designated ' wines of Rhin ' have 
come to be called HOCKS. Hocheim, from which the 
name is derived, lies on the Mayn and not on the Rhine, 
and neither the excellence nor the abundance of the 
Hocheim vintage seems to afford adequate reason for 
the fact that the name has become a generic term for 
the whole of the Rhine wines. It may probably be due 
to special commercial interests connecting some London 
firm with Hocheim, for in no European language except 
English do these wines go by the name of hocks. It 
might seem that JOHANNISBERG, with its white Schloss, 

MANNHAUS, or some other of the venerable towns or 
smiling villages which delight the eye of the traveller, 
as he passes the romantic ruins and steep vineyards 
which fringe the broad rolling stream, might have as- 
serted a better claim to bestow their names upon the 
delicate vintage of the Rhine, than an obscure village, 
which stands upon another river, and which is by no 
means unsurpassed in the excellence or abundance of its 

The volcanic slopes of all the river-banks in this dis- 
trict offer a congenial soil and site for the growth of the 
vine. LAUBENHEIM on the Nahe, LAHNSTEIN on the 
compete with the more celebrated villages on the Rhine 
and the Mayn. The Germans have a saw which com- 
pares the qualities of their chief growths : 

" Rhein-wein, fein wein ; 
Neckar-wein, lecker wein ; 
Franken-wein, tranken wein ; 
Mosel-wein, unnosel wein." 

Hungary water is said to have been first distilled 


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Liqueurs, 413 

by Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary.^ CHARTREUSE is 
prepared from a recipe in the possession of the monks 
of the celebrated monastery ruled over by St. Bernard. 
CURAgAO ^ came originally from the island of that name 
in the Carribean Sea. COGNAC is a town in the depart- 
ment of the Charente. HOLLANDS and SCHIEDAM, as 
their names import, came to us from the Dutch. Since 
GIN is a contraction of Geneva, it might be supposed 
that geneva was originally distilled in the city of that 
name. The word geneva is, however, only an Anglicized 
form of the Dutch jejiei'er^ the juniper, from the berries 
of which plant the peculiar flavour is derived. WHISKEY 
is a corruption of the Celtic word uisge, water, a root 
which, as we have seen,* appears in the names of the 
Wisk, Esk, Usk, Exe, Thames, and other Celtic rivers. 
USQUEBAUGH is the " yellow water," from the Erse boy^ 
yellow. GLENLIVAT is the name of a highland valley in 
Banffshire, famous for its stills. SPRUCE BEER is either 
Prussian beer, or beer tinctured with the sap of the 
spruce or Prussian fir. Colonel NEGUS has been im- 
mortalized by the beverage which he first concocted. 
The etymology of GROG is curious. Admiral Vernon, 
a sailor of the old school, used to wear a grogram coat,^ 
and hence the seamen bestowed upon him the nickname 
of ' Old Grog,' which was afterwards transferred to the 

1 Beckmann, History 0/ Inventions^ voL i. p. 316. 

* Often wrongly spelt Cura9oa. Cf. the analogous names Macao, Bilbao, 
Callao, &c. 

s Gin being originally a Dutch drink, the name is undoubtedly derived 
from the Dutch jenever^ rather than from the French equivalent genOvre, 
as is usually alleged. 

* See pp. 202 — 206, supra, 

9 The word Grogram is an Anglicization of the French gros-^rain, coarse 


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414 Words derived from Places. 

mixture of rum and water which he was the first to 
introduce into the navy.^ 

The names of animals, like those of plants, are able 
to supply us, in many cases, with information as to the 
countries from which they haye been introduced, as well 
as with examples of the curious phonetic changes which 
the names of those countries have undergone. 

The naturalization of the COCHIN CHINA fowl has 
been too recent to permit any of these changes to take 
place. The same is the case with DORKINGS and 
Guinea coast,^ and the CANARY was brought from the 
Canary Isles in the middle of the sixteenth century.' 
BANTAMS came from the iDutch settlement of Bantam 
in Java. The pheasant is of much older introductioa 
The name is derived from the Latin avis phasiana — the 
Phasian bird — whence we conclude, with Pliny, that the 
bird was originally brought from the banks of the river 
Phasis, in Colchis. The EIDER duck takes its name 
from the river Eider in Holstein, whence, however, the 
bird has long disappeared. The TURKEY was so named 
by a mistake. It is an American fowl, but was popularly 
supposed to have come from the Levant. The German 
name, Kalekuter^ would imply that it came from Calicut, 
and the French Dinde, a contraction of poukt d'Inde, 
appears to endorse the same error. 

Ermine is the fur of the animal of the same name ; 

1 Taylor, AtUiquitaies CuriosiE^ p. 58 ; Notes and Queriesy first series, 
vol. L pp. 58, 168 ; Sullivan, Diet, 0/ Derivations^ p. no. 

• The GUiNEA-pig is a native of Brazil, but it may probably have been 
originally brought to this country by some ship engaged in the Guinea 

« Hence canary seed and the canary colour. 


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Names of A nimals, 4 1 5 

Chaucer calls it the Armine.^ By a parallel phonetic 
change, Ville Hardouin calls the Arminians the Her- 
mines. Hence we may with great probability assign 
the animal to Armenia, and its scientific name, Mus 
Panticusy points to the same region. 

The SABLE, like the Ermine, bears the corrupted name 
of a large country. The English form affords no clue 
to the etymology, but we find that the word in Italian 
takes the form ZibellinOy which appears to be a cor- 
ruption of Sibelino or Siberino — the fur from Siberia. 
The POLECAT is from Poland. SHAMOY leather is often 
erroneously spelt chamois, as if it were prepared from 
the hide of the Alpine antelope. But, like RUSSIA or 
MOROCCO, the word shamoy has a geographical origin, 
and means the leather from Samland, a district on the 

Many of the breeds of domestic cattle are of such 
recent origin, that the names have as yet suffered no 
corruption. Thus the names of leicesters, and south- 
downs, DEVONS'and HEREFORDS, as well as of ANGOLAS, 

cashmeres, shetlands and Newfoundlands, are 
still in the second stage of word formation.^ In the 
third stage we may place the SPANIEL, which is either 
the Spanish dog, or the dog from Hispaniola. The 
GREYHOUND is the Grecian dog (canis graius). PUSS is 
an endearing corruption of Pers, the Persian cat.* The 
meaning of the word BARB* is slowly changing; it was at 
first used strictly of a horse brought from Barbary, just 

^ We find also the fonns Harmellnus and Arminise pellis, and the Italian 
name is Armellino. Diez, Etymol, Worterbuck^ p. 26. 

s See p. 403, supra; and compare the names chedder, Cheshire, 


' Hume, Geographical Terms^ p. 9. 

* German, harbor ; Old French, barbare. 


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4i6 Words derived from Places. 

as an ARAB was a horse from Arabia. Of kindred blood 
to Barbs and Arabs is the Spanish horse called a 
JENNET, a name which may not improbably be derived 
from Jaen, the capital of one of the Moorish kingdoms in 
the Peninsula. Nor have we yet acknowledged all the 
obligations of our horse-breeders to the Arabian blood 
One of the galleons of the Armada, which had succeeded 
in weathering Cape Wrath and the storm-beaten 
Hebrides, was lost on the coast of Galloway, and tra- 
dition avers that a Spanish stallion, rescued from the 
wreck, became the ancestor of the strong and serviceable 
breed of galloways. A curious instance of change of 
application in a name occurs in the case of the strong 
Normand horses which were imported from Rouen. 
They were called rouens or ROANS — ^a word which has 
now come to denote the colour of the horse rather than 
the breed. 

Collectors of insects often give topic names to rare 
or local species, such as the Camberwell beauty, the 
Kentish glory, the Bath white ; and there are scores of 
similar names which might be added to the list. The 
venomous spider called the TARANTULA takes its name 
from Taranto in Southern Italy. The Cantharides of 
the druggist's shop often go by the name SPANISH 
FLIES. Mosquitoes, however, do not take their name 
from the Musquito coast, the word being the diminutive 
of the Spanish word mosca, a fly.^ 

The CARP is in Latin cupra or cyprinus, the fish from 
Cyprus. SARDINES are caught off the coast of Sardinia, 
but we should be wrong in supposing that the SARDINE 
stone or the SARDONYX came to us from that island, for 

1 The word musket (Italian, moscheUd) is from the same root Dicr, 
Etynu Wbrterb, p. 232. 


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Names of Minerals. 417 

the true origin of these names is to be sought at Sardis 
in Asia Minor. The loadstone and the magnet are both 
local names. The LOADSTONE is a corrupted ^ trans- 
lation of Lyditis lapisy the stone of Lydia. In the same 
region we must seek for the source of the name MAGNET, 
which is derived from Magnesia, a Lydian city. From 
Magnesia we also obtain the names of MANGANESE, or 
COPPER is cuprum or (bs cyprium, the brass of Cyprus.' 
The neighbouring island of Crete gave its name to the 
cretay a sort of pipeclay which the Romans used for 
seals, the knot with which the packet was tied being 
enveloped in a ball of clay, and the seal impressed upon 
it From the Latin creta the English adjective CRETA- 
CEOUS has been formed, and from the same root we get 
our CRAYONS through the medium of the French craie, 
TRIPOLI powder is composed of the flinty skeletons of 
diatomaciae, of which large beds exist near Tripoli. The 
TURKEY STONE on which we whet our razors is derived 
from the same region, and possibly from the same 
quarries as the cos^ to which the Romans gave the name 
of the island from which they were accustomed to pro- 
cure it^ The TURQUOISE is a sort of misnomer. It 
came from Nishapore in Persia, but being imported by 
the Turkey merchants was supposed to be a Turkish 
stone. CHALCEDONY came from Ghalcedon, and ALA- 

1 The notion of a leading or guiding-stone seems to have influenced the 
present form of the word. Cf. the loadstar, or leading-star. 

• The Sanskrit name is nearly identical, which would indicate that copper 
first reached India from the West See Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. part i. 

p. 173- 

3 Or the island may have derived its name from the stone. In favour of 
this view it may be urged that the Sanskrit ^o means to sharpen. Cf. the 
Latin acuo. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

41 8 Words derived from Places. 

BASTER from Alabastrum in Egypt, as we are told by 
Pliny, who also informs us that the TOPAZ came from 
Topazos, an island in the Red Sea. AGATES were first 
found in the bed of the Achates, a Sicilian river.^ In 
like manner the Gagates, a river of Lycia, gave its name 
to the black stone which the- French cdl\gagate,jayet, or 
faety a word which we have abbreviated into JET. The 
crystal called SPA came originally from the Belgian 
watering-place whose name has been transferred to so 
many mineral springs, and the word CHALYBEATE is 
itself indirectly derived from the name of the Chalubes, 
a tribe which inhabited the iron-producing district of 
Armenia, seidlitz in Bohemia has given its name 
to the well-known effervescing draughts, and genuine 
SELTZER water comes from Nieder Selters, near Maintz. 
On Epsom Common may still be discovered the forsaken, 
but once fashionable well, from whose waters EPSOM 
SALTS were first procured. GYPSUM, when written in its 
ancient form egipsunt^ tells us that it came from Eg^'-pt 
PLASTER of PARIS was procured in great abundance 
from the catacombs of Paris, and UMBER and SIENNA, 
as the names import, are earths from Northern Italy. 
SYENITE is the granite of Syene in Upper Egypt^ 
PARIAN marble is from the isle of Paros, and CAEN and 
BATH stone have suffered no corruption. Two of the 
newly discovered metals take their names respectively 
from YTTRIUM in Sweden and STRONTIAN in Argyle- 
shire. NATRON and NITRE are found in the Egyptian 
province of Nitria, where natron lakes still exist, though 
it is fairly ^ open to dispute whether the salt gave its 

1 Bochart, vol. iil p. 549. 

• There are many terms of local origin used by geologists, sudi as DeTx>- 
nian, Silurian, Wealden, Cambrian, &c 


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Textile Fabrics, 419 

name to the province, or, as Jerome asserts, the province 
performed the like office for the salt AMMONIA abounds 
likewise in the soil of the Libyan desert, and in the 
writings of Synesius, bishop of Pentapolis, we have an 
account of the preparation of the sal amnioniacus by 
the priests of Jupiter Ammon, and its transmission to 
Egypt in baskets made of the leaves of psdms. 

A large number, we might almost say the greater 
number, of the fabrics which we wear, are called by 
names derived from the places at which they were 
originally made. Political and social revolutions, aided 
by the invention of the spinning jenny, of the power- 
loom, and of the steam-engine, have, it is true, transferred 
the great seats of manufacture from India, from the 
Levant, from Holland, from Northern Italy, and from 
East Anglia, to the neighbourhood of our English coal- 
fields, but the fabrics retain the ancient names which 
still testify of the places which saw the earliest develop- 
ments of industrial energy. Our CASHMERE SHAWLS^ 
are now made at Paisley ; our japanned ware comes 
from Birmingham, our china from Staffordshire, our 
NANKEEN from Manchester, and we even export our 
CALICO to Calicut, the very place from whence, three 
hundred years ago, it used to come.* 

Names of this class resolve themselves, for the most 
part, into three divisions, which indicate in a character- 
istic manner the three chief centres of mediaeval industry. 

The ingenuity and inventive skill of the Arabs gave 

^ The word shawl is itself the name of a valley and district in Affghan- 

■ The French for calico is calicot The fact that the / is dropped in 
English indicates that we got the word through the French. Hackluyt 
calls it "Calicut cloth." 

E E 2 

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420 Words derived from Places. 

the first impulse to the industrial progress of the West 
Thus SARCENET (low Latin, saracenicum) was a silken 
fabric obtained from the Saracens. Mouseline, the 
French form of the word MUSLIN, clearly refers us to 
Moussul,^ in the neighbourhood of the eastern capital 
of the Caliphs. In Bagdad, the street inhabited by the 
manufacturers of silken stuffs was called Atab, and the 
fabrics woven by them were called Atabi.* From a 
corruption of this word we probably derive the words 
TAFFETY and TABBY.8 The rich figured silk called 
DAMASK,* and the famous DAMASCUS swords were pro- 
duced at the central seat of the Moslem dominion,* and 
the TOLEDO blades remind us that the Arab conquerors 
carried their metallurgic skill with them to the West. 
From another Moslem kingdom came CIPRESSE, the 
black " cobweb lawn " behind which Olivia, in ' Twelfth 
Night,' " hides her heart," and which the pedlar Auto- 
lycus, in the * Winter's Tale,' carries in his pack. 

Gauze was made at Gaza, as is indicated by gaze, 
the French, and gasa the Spanish form of the name ; • 
and in the same way we are guided by the Italian 
baldacchino in assigning BAUDEKIN, which we read of in 
old authors, to Baldacca or New Bagdad, one of the 
suburbs of Cairo. Baudekin originally meant a rich 
silken tissue embroidered with figures of birds, trees, 
and flowers, in gold and silver thread, but the word was 
subsequently used for any rich canopy, especially that 

1 Dicz, Etymol. Wdrterbuch^ p. 236 ; Pihan, Glossaire^ p. 21a 

• Gayangos, Dynasties^ vol. L pp. 358, 51 ; Yonge, Chrutian Kame^ 
vol. i. p. 122. 

> A tabby cat has the wavy markings of vrateied silk. 

* Scarlet, it may be noted, is an Arabic word. 

* Diez, Etymol. IVortcrbuchy p. 121. 

• Pihan, Glossaire, p. 132; Diez, Etymol. JVorlerd.p, 641. 


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Manufactures of the A robs. 42 1 

over the altar, and pre-eminently the canopy in St 
Peter's under which stands the throne of the Pope.^ 
Previous to the tenth century an important suburb of 
Cairo was Fostat,^ where flourished the manufacture of 
FUSTIAN ; fostagno, the Italian name of the fabric, 
indicates this more clearly than the English disguise.* 

Mohair, or moire, is a fabric* of the Moors or Arabs 
of Spain ; and the same skilful race, after the Spanish 
conquest, manufactured JEAN at Jaen ; and at Cordova, 
cordovan or CORDWAIN,^ a kind of leather prized by thie 
cordonniers or CORDWAINERS of the middle ages as 
highly as MOROCCO is by the leather-workers of the 
present day. Truly the most elaborate history of the 
civilization® of the Arabs would fail to give us any 

^ Fairholt, Up Ae Nile, p. 59. Wedgwood {English Eiym. p. 126) 
copies Diez, Etym, Wbrterb. p. 39, in assigning Ihis manufacture to Bagdad 
on the Tigris. The ecclesiastical vestment called a dalmatic was invented 
in Dalmatia. 

• Gibbon, chap. li. vol. vi. p. 403. 

» Diez, Etymol. Worterb, p. 157. Dimity is not, as has been asserted, 
the fabric from Damietta, but that woven with two threads (8(j and /ifroj) 
just as twill and drill are respectively made with two and three threads, as 
the names imply. 

• In Almeria there were at least 4,000 looms. Gayangos, Dynasties y 
voL i. p. 51. MERINO is woven from the wool of the Merino sheep, a name 
which Southey has ingeniously derived from the emirs, or shepherd princes 
of Spain. The name of moreen may be due to thiC same source, though 
it is more probably derived from the dark colour. 

' Diez, Etymol. Wbrterb. p. 1 1 1 ; Menage, Origines, pp. 229, 696. 

• To the Arabs we also owe much of the early science of the West, as is 
shown by the words chemistry , alchemy , alembic^ borax, elixir, alkali, alcohol, 
azul, lapis lazuli, algebra, cUmanac, azimuth, zenith, and nadir, which are all 
of Arabic origin. How feeble, too, would be our powers of calculation with- 
oat the ARABIC numerals, and the Arabic system of decimal notation. It 
is also a very suggestive fact that almost every Spanish word connected with 
irrigation — some dozen in aU — is of Arabic origin. E.g. alberca, a tank ; 
azequia, a canal ; atena, a water-wheel ; aljibe, a well. Gayangos, Dynas- 
ties, p. 487. Many nautical terms used in Spain are also Arabic. E.g. 


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422 Words derived from Places, 

such vivid sense of their industry and ingenuity as is 
conveyed by the curious fact, that the seats of their 
empire, whether in Europe, in Africa, or in Asia, have 
stamped their names indelibly on so many of the 
fabrics in our daily use. • 

As the energies of the Moslem races decayed, the 
Flemings took their place as the chief manufacturing 
people.^ When Leeds and Manchester were country 
villages, and Liverpool a hamlet, Flanders was supply- 
ing all Europe with textile fabrics. The evidence of 
this fact is interwoven into the texture of our English 
speech. We have seen that many silken and cotton 
fabrics come from the Arabs ; the Flemings excelled in 
the manufactures of flax and wool. From Cambrai we 
have CAMBRIC, as is clear from the French form cambray^ 
or toile de Cambray, DIAPER, formerly written d'ipre or 
d" YpreSf was made at Ypres, one of the chief seats of the 
cloth manufacture, as we learn from Chaucer, who says 
of his wife of Bath : — 

" Of doth making she hadde swiche an haunt. 
She passed hem of Ipres and of Gaunt" 

Another colony of clothworkers was settled on the 
River Toucques in Normandy. From the name of this 
river a whole family of words has been derived.* In 
German the general name for cloth is %\i6^, and* in old 
English ttick. We read in Hackluyt a description of " the 
great Turke himselfe," who had " upon his head a goodly 

scutia^ a boat ; the small three-masted vessel called a xabetjue ; almadia^ a 
xaft; arsenal : and almiranUy an admiral, which is a corruption oiamr-ol- 
bahr, commander at sea. Gayangos, Dynasties^ vol. ii. appendix, p. xxx?l; 
Engelmann, Glossaire^ p. 53. 

^ The Flemish manufactures arose in the twelfth centuiy. See Hallim, 
Middle 9lgieSy vol. iii. p. 375. 

• See Knapp, English Roots, p. 46. 


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Manufactures of the Flemings. 423 

white tucke, containing in length by estimation fifteene 
yards, which was of silke and linnen wouen together, 
resembling something of Calicut cloth." ^ White trou- 
sers are made of DUCK, our beds are covered with 
TICKING, and our children wear TUCKERS at their meals. 
A TUCKER was originally a narrow band of linen cloth 
worn by ladies round the throat. Hence any narrow 
strip of cloth fastened on the dress was called a TUCK 
or TUCKER, and when this mode of ornamentation was 
imitated by a fold in the fabric, the fold or plait itself 
received the same name. A weaver used to be called a 
tucker, and Tucker is still a common surname among 
us. In Somerset and in Cornwall there are villages 
called Tucking Mill, and Tucker Street in Bristol ^ was 
that occupied by the weavers.^ 

From the Walloons we have galloon,* that is, 
Walloon lace, as well as the finer fabrics which take 
their names from VALENCIENNES and MECHLIN. GING- 
HAM was originally made at Guingamp in French Flan- 
ders.^ From the same region come LISLE thread, the 
rich tapestry called ARRAS, and BRUSSELS CARPETS. In 
the marshes of Holland the fabrics were of a less costly 
type than among the wealthy Flemings. From this 
region we obtain the names of DELF ware, brown HOL- 
LAND, and homely frieze,* or cloth of Friesland. 

* Anthony lenkinson, '* The manner of the entring of Soliman the great 
Turke, with his armie into Aleppo in Syria," apud Hackluyt, Voyages^ 
voL ii. p. 1 13. 

' Lucas, Secularia, p. loi. 

' I have left this paragraph as it stood in the first edition, though I am 
now far from certain as to the correctness of the etymology suggested. The 
very early use of the word tuck suggests some independent Teutonic root. 

* The GALLEON was probably a Walloon vessel, one of the great Ant- 
werp merchantmen. 

• Hume, Geographical Terms^ p. 7. ,*•- 

• Compare, however, the Welsh ^w, the hap of cloth. To frizzle, in 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

424 Words derived from Places. 

Passing from the ingenious Arabs and the indus- 
trious Netherlanders, we find among the luxurious 
republics of Northern Italy a third series of names, as 
characteristic and as suggestive as those we have already 
considered. The fiddles of CREMONA, the PISTOLS of 
Pistoja^ in Tuscany, the bonnets of LEGHORN, the PADS 
and PADDING of Padua, the rich fabric called PADU ASOV, 
and the scent called BERGAMOT, are fair specimens of 
the wares which would be articles of foremost necessity 
to the fine gentleman and fair ladies who figure in the 
pages of Boccace ; and it is easy to understand that 
ITALIAN IRONS might be suitably introduced by those 
MILLINERS and MANTUAMAKERS^ who derive their 
names from two cities where their services were so 
abundantly appreciated;^ On the other hand, ITALICS 
and ROMAN type still bear witness in every printing 
office that the newly discovered art was nowhere more 

French frher, is to curl the hair in the Frisian fashion. See, however, 
Grimm, Gesch, Dent Spr. p. 669; Diez, Etym, Worterb, p. 155. The 
architectural term frieze is probably derived from Phrygia, certainly not 
from Friesland. The attics of our houses may be traced to the Attic 
order of architecture, which displayed an upper tier of columns. 

^ The name of pistoyers was originally given to certain small daggers, 
and was afterwards transferred to the small concealed firearms. H. Stc- 
phanus, apud Diez, E/ym. Worterbuchy p. 267 ; Manage, Origines, p. 527. 
To this last we may add the pavois^ or shield of Pavia. Diez, Etym. 
IVorterbuchf p. 256. 

« Whewell, in Phil. Proc. vol. v. p. 136, thinks this is an erroneous deri- 
vation. He prefers manteau. The best bells for hawks were called uilans, 
because imported from Milan. See Drake, Shakspeare and his Tima, voLi. 
p. 268. 

3 The tureen is not from Turin, but is a terrine^ or earthen vessel Whe- 
well, in Philohg. Proc. vol. v. p. 136. We have also polonies or Bologna 
sausages, and saveloys from Savoy. Cf. Perigord pies, Bath buns, Ban- 
bury cakes, &c. The magenta colour derives its name from a Lombard 
village, but the name commemorates the date, and not the locality of the 


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Manufactures of Northern Italy, 425 

eagerly welcomed, or carried to a higher perfection than 
in the country in which the revival of learning first 

From the rest of Europe we may glean a few scat- 
tered names of- the same class — ^though they mostly 
denote peculiarities of local costume rather than esta- 
blished seats of manufacture. Thus, we have the word 
CRAVATS from the nation of the Cravates, or Croats as 
they are now called.^ There was a French regiment of 
light horse called "le royal Cravate," because it was 
attired in the Croat fashion, and the word cravat was 
introduced in 1636, when the neck-ties worn by these 
troops became the mode. GALLIGASKINS were the 
large open hose worn by the Gallo-vascones, or Gascons 
of Southern France. GALL6CHES, or galloshoes,* are 
the wooden sabots worn by the French peasants, and 
the name has been transferred to the overshoes of 
caoutchouc which have been recently introduced. The 
French city from which we first obtained SHALLOON is 
indicated by Chaucer in the " Reves Tale." The Miller 
of Trumpington, we read, 

With shetes and chalons fair yspredde." 

JERSEYS and GUERNSEYS remind us how the mothers 
and wives of the fishermen in the Channel islands used 
to toil with their knitting-needles while their sons and 

^ Whewell, in Phil, Proc. voL v. p. 136 ; Zeuss, Du DaOschen^ p. 608. 

• The etymology here suggested is doubtful. The word is very ancient, 
for the Roman ccUiga^ from which Caligula derived his name, and the Lan- 
ca3hire clog^ are from the same root. Compare the Old Spanish gallochas^ 
Erse galoigy Brezone galochou. Spenser speaks of " My galage grown 
fast to my heel." Diefenbach, Cdtkay i. p. 133 ; Diez, EtymoL Worter- 
buchf p. 162; Whitaker, History 0/ Manchester^ vol. ii. p. 258; Menage, 
Origines, p. 338. 


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426 Words derived from Places. 

husbands were labouring at sea, TWEEDS were made 
at Hawick, Galashiels, Selkirk, and other towns on the 
Scottish border. The name was first suggested by the 
misreading of an invoice, and the appropriateness of this 
substitution of Tweeds for Twills gave rapid currency to 
the new name. WORSTED ^ takes its name from Wor- 
stead, a village not far from Norwich, and informs us 
that the origin of our English textile manufactures dates 
from the settlement, in the time of Henry I., of a colony of 
Flemings, who made Norwich one of the chief manufac- 
turing towns of England. The importance of the East 
Anglian woollen trade ^ is also shown by the fact that two 
contiguous Suffolk villages, Lindsey, and Kersey with its 
adjacent »r^r^,have given their names to LINDSEY WOLSEY 
and KERSEYMERE. BAIZE IS said* to be from Baise near 
Naples, though this appears to be only an ingenious 
etymological guess. It is said also that DRUGGET, or 
droget, was first made at Drogheda in Ireland, and that 
BONNETS came from the Irish village of that name. 
From the name of Hibemia is derived the French word 
bemey a blanket,* and hence, perhaps, we have obtained 
the semi-naturalized word BERNOUSE.« Llanelly, I 
believe, was a great place for the Welsh flannel manu- 
facture, though whether the word FLANNEL is derived 
from the name Llanelly is doubtful.^ The etymology 
at all events seems quite as probable as that which 

1 Blomefield, Hist, of Norfolk^ vol. v. p. 1455 ; Gough's Camden, voL n. 
p. 190 ; Hallam, Middle Agts, vol. iii. p. 378. 

« See Good Words^ March, 1864 ; Hume, Geographical Terms, p. 6. 

■ Hume, Geographical Terms, p. 7. 

^ Italian and Spanish demia, Diefenbach, Cellica, i. p. 201 ; Diez, £fym, 
Worterbuch, p. 51. 

6 The general use of this word in the East suggests a doubt whether it 
may not be of Semitic origin. 

• Notes and Queries, second series, vol. ix. p. 177. 

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Vehicles. 427 

Diez proposes, from velamen} The word silk may be 
traced to the sericce vestes^ the garments of the Seres or 
Chinese, who, ever since the time of Pliny, have been 
the chief producers of this material. 

It must suffice briefly to enumerate a few inventions 
whose names betray a local origin. 

The towns of Sedan in France, and Bath in England, 
have given us SEDANS and BATH CHAIRS. From 
Kottsee,a town in Hungary, comes the Hungarian word 
KOTCZY, and the German jlutfc^e,* of which the English 
word COACH* is a corruption.* 

The first BERLINE was constructed for an ambas- 
sadorial journey from Berlin to Paris. The LANDAU 
is said to derive its name from the town of Landau in 
the Palatinate.* It has been supposed that Hackney 

1 Diez, Etymol, W&rterhtuh^ p. 147. 

s John Cuspinianus, physician to Maximilian T., says that the Hungarians 
rode in carriages, called in their native tongue kottschi, Ungriches Mag, 
vol. i. p. 20, vol. ii. p. 460. See two most exhaustive treatises on this word, 
by M. Coraides, in the Ungriches Magazin^ vol. i. pp. 15 — 21 ; vol. ii. 
pp. 412 — ^465. See also Beckmann, Hist, of Inveniions, vol. i. p. 77. 

■ Coaches were introduced into England from Hungary, by the Earl of 
Arundel, in 1580. Ung, Mag, vol. ii. p. 424 ; Smith, Antiquarian Ramble, 
vol. i. p. 367. 

* The Kutsche was a carriage in which the traveller might sleep, as ap- 
pears from a passage of Avila, quoted by Diez, p. 105. Charles V. he 
says, **se puso d dormir en un carro cubierto, al qual en Hungria Uaman 
coche, el nombre y la invencion es de aquella tierra." Hence it has been 
proposed to connect the English word couch, and the French verb 
ecu CHER with the same root, but the influence is probably only of a reflex 
nature, the ultimate source of these two words beuig to be sought in the 
Latin collocare, 

* Whewell, in Philolog. Proc, vol. v. p. 136 ; Hume, Geogr. Terms, p. 17. 
It seems probable, however, that it may have been named after Marshal 
Landau, like the stanhope, tilbury, and brougham. There is a coach- 
maker, in Longacre, called Rumball, and a writer in Notes and Queries 
(second series, vol. ix. p. 177) suggests that the rumble was invented by 


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428 Words derived from Places. 

coaches were first used at the London suburb of Hack- 
ney;^ the true etymology, however, seems to be the 
French word hacquen^e^ an ambling nag, of which the 
English hack is an abbreviation.^ 

Chevaux de frise, the wooden horses of Friesland, 
are due to Dutch ingenuity. They were first drawn up 
at the siege of Groningen, in 1658, to oppose the Spanish 
cavalry. A nearly contemporaneous invention is that 
of the BAYONET, which was first used at the storming 
of Bayonne in 1665.* The BURGONET, probably, takes 
its name from Burgundy, and the CARABINE from 
Calabria, as is indicated by the obsolete Italian form of 
the word — calabrifto. The word CALIBRE, though appa- 
rently cognate, is really from an Arabic source.* The 
POLE-AXE was the national weapon of the Poles. The 
LOCHABER axe has disappeared along with Highland 
warfare, and that other national weapon, the SHILLELAH,* 
will, we may hope, soon be confined also to the museums 
of the antiquary. Improved weapons, according to the 
modern rule of nomenclature, are named after the 
inventor, as in the case of Congreve rockets, Mini^ and 
Whitworth rifles, and Armstrong, Dahlgren, and Parrot 
guns. An exception, however, exists in the case of long 

1 Taylor, AntiquUates Curiosa, pu 115. 

s In the seventeenth century we have mention of the cocke ^ ha^ueitk. 
See Diez, Etym, W'drterhuck^ p. 192 ; Diefenbach, Vergleich. Worterbatck, 
vol. i. p. 30 ; Menage, Origines^ p. 375. 

s Diez, Etym, IVorterbuch^ p. 561. Grenades have no connexion with 
the famous siege of Granada, but are so called fix>m their resemblance to 
the granate or pomegranate. The tallest and strongest men in the regi- 
ment, who were chosen to throw them, were called grenadiers, 

* Englemann, Glossaire^ p. 76. 

B The oak saplings which grow in a certain wood in the parish of Sh3- 
Iclah, County Wicklow, are believed to be of a peculiarly tough and knotty 


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Weapons. 429 

Enfields and short Enfields, which are made in the 
Grovemment factory at Enfield, just as the obsolete 
ordnance called CARRON ADES were cast at the celebrated 
Carron Foundry on the Clyde. 

The word PARCHMENT is derived from the Latin 
charta pergamena^ or pergamentum, which was used for 
the multiplication of manuscripts for the great library 
at Pergamus. From the Campagna of Rome we have 
the Italian campana a bell,^ and the naturalized English 
word CAMPANILE, a bell tower. The first artesian 
well was sunk through the chalk basin of the province 
of ARTOIS. VARNISH * is said to be from the city of 
Berenice on the Red Sea, The BOUGIE, that constant 
source of altercation at Continental hotels, takes its 
name from Bougiah, a town in Algeria which exports 
large quantities of beeswax.* Venetian blinds, prussic 
acid and prussian blue, Dresden, Sevres, Worcester, 
Chelsea, and other names of the class present no etymo- 
logical difficulties. MAJOLICA is Majorca ware, and Mr. 
Marsh thinks that the glass vessel called a DEMIJOHN 
may take its name from Damaghan, a town in Khoras- 
san formerly famous for its glass works.* 

Many names of this description are personal rather 
than local. Thus the DOILEY is supposed to have been 
introduced by a tradesman in the Strand,^ one Doyley, 
whose name may still be seen cut in the stone over the 
office of the Field newspaper ; and the etymology of the 

1 See Ducange, s. v. ; Diez, Etym, Worterb, p. 84. 
s Cf. the Italian vemice, and the Spanish bemU, 

• Diez, Eiym, Wort, p. 76 ; Manage, OrigineSy p. 130 ; Pihan, Glossaire^ 
p. 63. 

4 Marsh, Z^r/. on Eng. Language, p. 145 ; English edition, p. loi. The 
dame Jeanne, however, seems to have been a bottle made near Arras. See 
Philolog. Trans, vol. i. p. 62—72. 

* Notes and Queries, second series^ vol. ii. p. 476. 


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430 Words derived from Places, 

word MACKINTOSH IS not likely to be forgotten while the 
shop at Charing Cross continues to bear the name of 
the inventor. In like manner JACKET, in French jaque, 
was so called from Jaque of Beauvais,^ and GOBELIN 
tapestry from the brothers Gobelin, dyers at Paris, 
whose house, called the Hotel des Gobelins, was bought 
by Louis XV. for the manufacture of the celebrated 
fabric.^ The invention of SPENCERS and SANDWICHES 
by two noblemen of the last century is commemorated 
in a contemporaneous epigram, which may perhaps 
bear transcription : — 

** Two noble earls, whom, if I quote. 

Some folks might call me sinner. 
The one invented half a coat. 

The other, half a dinner. 
The plan was good, as some will say. 

And fitted to console one. 
Because, in this poor starving day, 

Few can afford a whole one.**' 

The invention of Earl Spencer may be classed with 
the WELLINGTONS and, BlCchers which came into 
fashion at the close of the European war ; and that of 
the Earl of Sandwich with Maintenon cutlets. It has 
been suggested* that we owe the BRAWN on our break- 
fast tables to a German cook named Braun who lived in 
Queen Street. The word, however, is doubtless of much 
greater antiquity, the true etymology being to be sought 
in the old French braion^ a roll of flesh. 

1 Diez, Eiym, Worterb. p. 172 ; compare Yonge, Christian Noma, vdL i. 
p. 1 10 ; Menage, Origines, p. 353. 

« See Notes and Queries, Nov. loth, i860 ; Beckmann, JlisU of Inven- 
tionSf vol. i p. 403. 

s Booth, Epi^ams, p. 83. The invention of Lord Sandwich is said to 
have enabled him to remain at the gaming-table for 24 consecutive hoars, 
without having to retire for a regular meal. Taylor, Antiq, Curiosa, p. 17. 

* Notes and Queries, second series, vol. ii. pp. 196, 235. 


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Personal Names. 43 1 

From two Greek philosophers we derive the terms 
PLATONIC love, and EPICURE. The guillotine takes 
its name from Dr. Guillotin, who introduced it^ The 
DERRICK, a machine for raising sunken ships, by means 
of ropes attached to a sort of gallows, perpetuates the 
memory of a hangman of the Elizabethan period.^ 
TRAM roads and macadamization we owe to Outram 
and Macadam. A strict disciplinarian in the army of 
Louis XIV. has given us the word MARTINET, and from 
a French architect we obtain the MANSARDE roof ^ Mr. 
PINCHBECK was one of the cheap goldsmiths of the last 
century, and has left numerous disciples in our own.* 
An ingenious astronomical toy bears the name of the 
Earl of ORRERY.* Galvani, Volta, Daguerre, and Talbot 
have stamped their names upon two of the greatest dis- 
coveries of modem times. The value of MESMERISM is 
more open to question.® The name of SILHOUETTE was 
bestowed in the time of Louis XV. on the meagre 
shadow portraits which were then in vogue, and it con- 
tains a sarcastic allusion to the niggardly finance of 
M. de Silhouette, an unpopular minister of the French 

1 Dr. Guillotin only introduced the bill in the Convention ; a Dr. Louis 
was the real inventor of the machine, which was at first called the Looisette. 
See Timesy June iith, 1864. 

» Hotten, Siang DkU p. 119. 

* Whewell, in Philology Proc, vol. v. p. 136. 

* Hotten, Slang Diet. p. 201. 

' The Orrery was invented by a Mr. Rowley, who gave it the name of 
his patron. 

* This method of nomendature has naturally prevailed among religious 
sects. We have ^RiANS, arminians, calvinists, wesleyans, simeon- 


f Sismondi, Hist de Frattfais^ vol. xxix. pp. 94, 95, apud Diez, Etym, 
Wdrterb. p. 725. So Mr. Joseph Hume*s unpopular fourpenny pieces were 
called JOEYS by the cabmen ; and Sir Robert Peel's substitute for the Lon- 


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432 Words derived from Places. 

Paschino was a cobbler at Rome; he was a noted 
character, and a man of a very marked physic^nomy. 
The statue of an ancient gladiator having been ex- 
humed, and erected in front of the Orsini palace, the 
Roman wits detected a resemblance to the notorious 
cobbler, and gave the statue his name. It afterwards 
became the practice to post lampoons on the pedestal of 
the statue, whence effusions of this nature have come to 
be called PASQUINADES.^ Pamphylla, a Greek lady, who 
compiled a history of the world in thirty-five little books, 
has given her name to the PAMPHLET.^ The name of 
PUNCH, or, to give him his unabbreviated Italian title, 
Pulcinello, has been derived from the name of the 
person who is said to have first performed the world- 
known drama, one Puccio d'Aniello, a witty peasant of 
Acerza in the Roman Campagna.^ It has also been sup- 
posed, with some reason, that Punch and Judy and the 
dog Toby are relics of an ancient mystery play, the 
actors in which were Pontius Pilate, Judas, and Tobias' 
dog. For the word HARLEQUIN, in Italian Arlechino^ a 
local origin has, however, been suggested; the name 
being, perhaps, derived from the Arlecamps, or Champ 
d* Aries, where the performance was first exhibited* 
The word CHARLATAN we may trace through the Italian 
forms ciarlatano and cerretano to the city of Cerreta* 
VAUDEVILLE is from Vau-de-Ville in Normandy, where 

don watchmen axe still called BOBBYS and peelers. Hotteo, Slang I>kL 
pp. 163, 198. 

1 Yonge, Christian Names, voL i p. 437. 

" Atkenaum, Nov. nth, 1863, p. 715. 

» Diez, Etymdog, WbrteHmch, p. 425. 

* Diez, EtymoL Worterb. p. 26. See, however, Max Miiller, in Reports 
of Brit Assoc, for 1847, p. 322. 

* Diez, EtytnoL Worterb, p. 100 ; Manage, Origines, p. 202. 


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Names of Coins, 43 3 

the entertainment was introduced by Olivier Basselin, at 
the end of the fourteenth century.^ 

Many analogous derivations which we find in classical 
authors are obviously fanciful or mythical. Thus we 
read that the art of grinding was discovered at Alesiae 
{pLSAaoAy to grind), by Myles {iuSK% a millstone).* In like 
manner we are told that the tinder-box was invented by 
Pyrodes, and the spindle by Closter ; and that the oar 
was first used at two Boeotian towns — Copae (handle), 
and Plataeae (blade).' This, it need not be said, is as 
absurd as if a modem Pliny were to assure us that 
needles were first manufactured by a Mr. Steel at the 
western extremity of the Isle of Wight, or that the 
game of draughts was originally played in Ayrshire. 

The etymology of the names of coins is often curious. 
The GUINEA was first coined in 1663 from gold brought 
from the Guinea coast. It was struck as a twenty- 
shilling piece, but from the fineness of the metal the new 
coins were so highly prized that they commanded an 
agio of a shilling. The BYZANT, a large gold coin of 
the value of 15/ sterling, was struck at Byzantium. 
The DOLLAR was originally the same as the German 
THALER, which took its name from the silverworks in 
the I^al or valley of Joachim in Bohemia. Its currency 
throughout the New World bears witness to the exten- 
sion of the Spanish-Austrian empire in the reign of 
Charles V. The FLORIN was struck at Florence, and 
bore the Florentine device of the lily-flower,* which has 

^ Du Bois, p. 13, apud Diez, Etymol. Worterb, p. 742. 

• Kenrick, Frinueval History, p. 82 ; Pott, in Kuhn's Zeitschrift Jur 
Vergleich, Spr. vol. ix. p. 181. 

« Kenrick, Phoenicia^ I*- 217- 

4 Menage, Origina, p. 793 ; Notes and Queries, second series, vol. v. 
p. 258. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

434 Words derived from Places, 

been reproduced on the new English coins of the same 
name. The mark was a Venetian coin, stamped with 
the winged lion of St Mark, and since Venice was the 
banker to half the world, it became the ordinary money 
of account.^ CUFIC coins, silver pieces with Arabic 
characters, were coined at Cufa. The JANE which is 
mentioned by Chaucer and Spenser was a small coin of 
Genoa (Janua). The FRANC is the nummus francicus — 
the coin of the Franks or French, and the Dutch GUILDER 
may possibly take its name from Gelderland.* 

MONEY and MINT remind us that the coinage of the 
Romans was struck at the temple of Juno Moneta, the 
goddess of counsel (moneo). The word STERLING is a 
contraction of esterling — the pound or penny sterling 
being a certain weight of bullion according to the 
standard of the Esterlings or eastern merchants from 
the Hanse towns on the Baltic' The convenience of 
the local standard of Troyes has given us TROY 
weight; and the STEELYARD is not, as is commonly 
supposed, a balance made with a steel arm, but is the 

^ Yonge, Christian Names, vol. i. p. 291. 

s A DUCAT is the coin issued by a duke, just as a sovereign is that 
issued by a king. A tester bore the image of the king's head {UsU, or 
t3u), and the penny is, possibly, in like manner, the diminutive of the 
Celtic pen, a head. TTie modem Welsh word ceiniog, a penny, is analo- 
gously from cenn, a head. A shilling or skilling bore the device of a 
shield or schild, and a SCUDO had a scutum. An eagle, an angel, and 
a kreutzer bear respectively the American eagle, an angel, and a cross. 
English GROATS, like the German groschen, were the ^ai/ coins, having 
been four times the size of the penny. Twenty shillings used to weigh a 
POUND {pondus). So the Italian lira and French /n^^ were of the weight 
of a libra. A farthing is the fourthing, or fourth part of a penny, jostas 
the square furlong is the fourthling of an acre, and as the Ridings of York- 
shire were the thridings or third parts of thecounty. 

• Robertson, Scotland under her Early Kings, vol. iL p. 350 ; Menage, 
Origines, pp. 616— 618; Hume, Geogr, Terms, p. 19; Skinner, EtymcU- 
gicon, s. V. 


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Vandalism — Gothic. 435 

machine for weighing which was used in the Steelyard, 
the London factory of the Hanse towns.^ That the 
name originated in England is proved by the fact that 
it is confined to this country; the French equivalent 
being Romaine^ and the German ruthe. 

Not the least interesting, and by far the most in- 
structive, of the words that have been derived from 
geographical names are those which have been furnished 
by the names of nations, and which will mostly be found 
to have a sort of moral significance, ethnical terms 
having become ethical. 

Thus, when we remember how the Vandals and the 
Goths, two rude northern hordes, swept across Europe, 
blotting out for a time the results of centuries of Roman 
civilization, and destroying for ever many of the fairest 
creations of the Grecian chisel, we are able to under- 
stand how it has come about that the wanton or ignorant 
destruction of works of art should go by the name of 
VANDALISM, and also how the first clumsy efforts of the 
Goths to imitate, or adapt to their own purposes 
the Roman edifices, should be called GOTHIC.^ It is 
interesting to note the stages by which this word has 
ascended from being a word of utter contempt to one of 
highest honour. Yet we may, at the same time, regret 
that the same word — Gothic — ^should have been mis- 
applied to designate that most perfect system of 
Christian architecture which the northern nations, after 
centuries of honest and painsful labour, succeeded in 
working out slowly for themselves, and in the elabo- 

: ^ See Pauli, Pictures of Old En^and^ pp. 176—203. 

« Cf, Grimm, Gesch. d. £>eut, Spr, p. 475; Milman, IlisL 0/ Latin 
Christianity, voL vi. p. 405. 

F F 2 n \ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

436 Words derived from Places, 

ration of which the nations of pure Gothic blood took 
comparatively little share. 

The fierce and intolerant Arianism of the Visigothic 
conquerors of Spain ^ has given us another word. The 
word Visigoth has become BIGOT, and thus on the 
imperishable tablets of language the Catholics have 
handed down to perpetual infamy the name and nation 
of their persecutors. 

From the name of the same nation — the Goths of 
Spain — are derived, curiously enough, two names, one 
implying extreme honour, the other extreme contempt 
The Spanish noble, who boasts that the sangre azul 
of the Goths runs in his veins with no admixture, calls 
himself an HIDALGO, that is, a son of the Goth, as his 
proudest title. ^ Of Gothic blood scarcely less pure 
than that of the Spanish Hidalgos, are the CAGOTS of 

* See Brace, Races of Old World, p. 283. 

« The doubtful point in this etjrmology seems to be set at rest by a pas- 
sage in the romance of Gierard of Roussillon, in which Bigot is used as an 
ethnic name : — 

** Bigot, e Provenzal, e Rouergues, 
£ Bascle, e Gasco, e Bordales." 
See Michel, Hist da Races Maudites, vol i. p. 539. This seems, there- 
fore, to be a more probable etymology than any of those which are orfi- 
narily given. The explanation of Menage, Origines, p. 116, from Bi ^oty 
the Norman oath, is out of the question. That proposed by Wachter, and 
supported by Trench, Study of Words, p. 80 ; and by Wedgwood, PkUff- 
logical Trans, for 185$, p. 1 13 — 1 1 6, from the beguins, or Franciscans, 
involves serious phonetic difficulties. That from bigotte, a moustache, is 
almost a ta-rtpou •Kp6rtpov, for bigotte, a moustache, is itself probably from 
Visigoth. Compare the Spanish phrase hombre de bigote, a man of fixed 
purpose, and the French un vieux moustache, Cf. Ford, GcUhtrings from 
Spain, p. 256. Bigot appears as a personal name in the case of Hugh 
Bigod, Earl of Norfolk. 

' The old ^tyiaoXo^' hijo c^ olgo, son of something/ has been nniTetsaUy 
given up in favour of hi <P al Go, son of the Goth. See a pi^r "On Oc 
and Oyl," by J. E. Biester, in the Berlin Transactions for 1812-13, tnas- 
lated by Bishop Thirlwall for the Philological Museum, vol. ii p. 337. 


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Bigot — Cretin — Marron. 43 7. 

Southern France, a race of outcast pariahs, who in 
every village live apart, executing every vile or dis- 
graceful kind of toil, and with whom the poorest peasant 
refuses to associate. These Cagots are the descendants 
of those Spanish Goths, who, on the invasion of the 
Moors, fled to Aquitaine, where they were protected by 
Charles Martel. But the reproach of Arianism clung 
to them, and religious bigotry branded them with the 
name of dk Gots,^ or "Gothic Dogs," a name which 
still clings to them, and keeps them apart from their 
fellow-men. In the Pyrenees these Arian refugees were 
anciently called Christaas^ and in French ChrMens^ or 
Christians, probably to distinguish them from Jewish 
or Moorish fugitives. Confinement to narrow valleys, 
and their enforced intermarriages, often resulted in the 
idiotcy of the children, and the name of the outcasts of 
the Pyrenees has been transferred to the poor idiotic 
wretches who, under the name CRETINS, are painfully 
familiar to Swiss tourists.* The word gottre is not, as 
has been thought, derived from the name of these Gothic 
refugees, but is a corruption of the Latin guttur^ which 
we find in Juvenal : — " Quis tumidum guttur miratur in 

The MARRONS of Auvergne are a race of pariahs, 
descended from the Mauriens or Moorish conquerors of 

1 From the Proven9al cd, canis, or the B^arnais caas^ and Got, Goth. 
This etymology, first proposed by De Marca, and stamped with the ap- 
proval of Scaliger, is now generally adopted. Compare the French 
cagpteru, bigotry. See Michel, Histoire des Races Maudites, vol. i. pp. 284, 
294, 355 ; and a paper by the same author in vol. i. of Z^ Moyen Age et la 
JRenaistance ; Manage, Origines, pp. 165 — 171 ; Diez, EtymoL W^rUrbuch, 

p. 584. 

. * See Michel, Histoire des Races MauditeSy vol. i. pp. 59, 162, 180, &c. 
* Juvenal, Sat xiil 1. 162. 


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438 Words derived from Places. 

the Maurienne. Hence the French word marrane, a 
renegade or traitor, and the Spanish adjective marrano^ 
accursed, and the substantive marrano, a hog.^ 

Again, when we remember how the soldierlike fidelity, 
and the self-reliant courage* of the Franks enabled 
them with ease to subjugate the civilized but eflfeminate 
inhabitants of northern Gaul, we can understand how 
the name of a rude German tribe has come to denote 
the FRANK, bold, open, manly character of a soldier 
and a freeman, and the word FRANCHISE to denote the 
possession of the full civil rights of the conquering race.* 

In the south-east of Gaul the Roman element of the 
population had ever been more considerable than else- 
where, and in this region the influence of the northern 
conquerors was comparatively transient Hence the 
langue doc, or language of Provence, the Roman Pro- 
vincia, was called the Romance, retaining as it did a 
much greater resemblance to the language of the 
Romans than the langue d^oyl^ the tongue of that part 
of Gaul which had been conquered and settled by the 
Franks. Here, in the region of the Languedoc, civi- 
lization was first re-established ; here was the first home 
of chivalry ; here the troubadour learned to beguile the 
leisure of knights and ladies with wild tales of adventure 
and enchantment — ROMANCES, ROMANTIC narratives — 

^ See p. no, supra; Michel, Histoire des Races Maudita^ voL ii. 
PP- 45, 9^ ; Manage, Origines, p. 451. 

' So the haughty character of the Norman conquerors, wdl fflnstimted 
by the story of Rollo*s homaging, explains how the French norois (nor- 
mand) came to mean proud. Diez» Gram, der R<nn, Spr, voL L p. 47. 

> I agree with Leo, VorUfungm, vol. L p. 455, that the argnments of 
Jacob Grimm, Geschichte d, Deut. Sprach. p. 512, on the name of the Franks 
exhibit virtually a timpov vp^^pov, Cf. Diez, £/ym, WorUrhsck, p. 153 ; 
Diefcnbach, Vergieich, Worterbuck, vol i. p. 403 ; Diez, Gram, darRomu 
Spr, voL L p. 47. 


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Romance — Gdisconade, 439 

so called because sung in the Romance tongue of the 
Roman province.^ 

In the south-west of Gaul, on the other hand, the 
Celtic or Celtiberic element of the original population 
was little influenced either by Roman colonization, or 
by Prankish or Gothic conquest. The Gascons afforded 
an exhibition of the peculiar characteristics of the Celtic 
stock — they were susceptible, enthusiastic, fickle, vain, 
and ostentatious.^ The random and boastful way of 
talking in which these Gascons were prone to indulge, 
has, from them, received the name gasconade.* 

The Langobardes, or Lombards, who settled in 
Northern Italy, appear to have been distinguished by 
national characteristics very different from those of 
Frank, Gascon, Goth, Visigoth, or Vandal, They seem 
to have been actuated by the spirit of commercial rather 
than of chivalrous adventure ; and at an early period we 
find them competing with the Jews as the capitalists 

? Diez, Etym. JVHrterbuch, p. 295 ; Manage, Origines^ pp. 565 — 572 ; 
Sheppard, Fall of Rome, p. 133, 

« See p. 234, si^rii, 

* The Spaniards call the Basque language, the ^drjrtm^fo^. rodomontade, 
a word of somewhat similar meaning, is derived from Rodomonte, a brag* 
gart who figures in Ariosto's poem of Orlando Furioso. The immortal ro< 
manceof Cervantes has given us the word quixotic, hectoring comes from 
" Sir Hector" of Troy, gibberish comes from Geber, an obscure eastern 
writer on alchemy, and fudge, perhaps, from a certain Inventive Captain 
Fudge, who flourished in the reign of Charles II. burlesque, in Italian 
burlesco or Bemiesco^ is derived from Francesco Bemia, who invented this 
species of composition. . alexandrines and leonines probably from a 
French poet, Alexandre Pllris, and the monk Leo, of Marseilles. We 
speak of the Spenserian stanza, and a Ciceronian style. The summary 
proceedings of Judge lynch have given our American cousins a verb of 
which they stood in need. The words bogus (Borghese), and blenkerism 
hand down to fame the names of two other transatlantic worthies, while 
BURKING is the peculiar glory of this island. See Bowditch, Suffolk Sur^ 
names^ pp. 256—258, 


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440 Wards derived from Places. 

and pawnbrokers^ of the middle ages. As we have 
already seen,^ Lombard Street — ^still the street of bankers 
—marks the site of the Lombard colony in London ; * 
and the Lombards have left their name not only in our 
streets but in our language, as a curious witness to the 
national characteristics which distinguished them from 
the other tribes which overran the Roman Empire. A 
lumber-room is the Lombard room,* the room where 
the Lombard pawnbrokers stored their unredeemed 
pledges. Hence, after a time, furniture stowed away in 
an unused chamber came to be called LUMBER ; and 
since such furniture is often heavy, clumsy, and out of 
date, we call a clumsy man a lumbering fellow; and 
our American cousins have given heavy timber the name 
of lumber, and call the man who fells it a lumberer 
— a curious instance of the complicated process of 
word manufacture — ^by which the name of a barbarous 
German tribe has been transferred to American back- 

When the Bulgarians and Huns, under Attila, overran 
the Roman Empire, the terror which they inspired was 
due not only to their savage ferocity, but in part to the 
hideousness of the Kalmuck physiognomy, with its high 

^ The Sicilian word lumbardu^ an innkeeper, shows that the Lombards 
also exercised this calling. Diez, Eiym, Warier^tuh, p. 676. There is an 
old French adjective, lombart^ usurious. Thom. de Cant Ed. Bekker, 
p. 41 ; apud Diez, Etym, W^rtethich^ p. 676. 

> See p. 282, supra, 

> The Caorsini, i.e, the men of Cahors (Bept Lot), were in mediieval 
times the rivals of the Lombards in the money-markets of Europe. Tlidr 
name, however, has not been perpetuated to the same extent as that of the 
Lombards, having left only the Proven9al yrot^ckaorcinj a usurer. Hallam, 
Middle Ages^ voL iii. p. 405 ; Ducange, s. v. 

^ French lombard^ a pawnshop. See the passages cited by Trench, GUs- 
sary, p. 127. 


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Lumber — Ogre — Fiend — Slave. 441 

cheek bones, and grinning boar-tushed visage. Their 
name became the synonym for an inhuman monster. 
Hence the German ^une, a giant,^ the French Bulgar, or 
Bougre? the Russian Obri, and the English OGRE.* 

When the Asi approached Scandinavia they found 
the shores peopled by wandering Finns, whom tradition 
represents as malignant imps and deformed demons, 
lurking among rocks and in the forest gloom. Hence, 
it has been thought, have arisen the words FIEND and 
FIENDISH, and the German geinb, an enemy.* 

The relations of the Sclavonic races of Eastern Europe 
to their western neighbours is also indicated by a curious 
piece of historical etymology. The martial superiority 
of the Teutonic races enabled them, as we have seen, 
gradually to advance their frontier toward the east, and 
in so doing, to keep their slave markets supplied with 
captives taken from the Sclavonic tribes. Hence, in all 
the languages of Western Europe, the once glorious 
name of SCLAVE has come to express the most degraded 
condition of man.^ What centuries of violence and 

^ The Norse word for a giant is JOTUNN, ue. Jute or Goth. Schafarik, 
Slaw. Alt, vol. L pp. 50, 52. 

' The Bulgarians were given to manichseism, hence the French word 
dougerUy heresy. Cf. Ducange, s. v. Bulgarus ; Diez, Etym, IVorUrbuch^ 
p. 576 ; Menage, Origines^ p. 131. 

* The Ogres or Ugrians, to which stock the Bulgarians and Magyars 
belong, were the tribes north of the UraL The ethnic name of the Ugrians 
seems to have become Ogres^ from a fancied connexion with Orcus, analo- 
gous to that of the Tatars with Tartarus, which has been already referred. 
to (p. 396, supra). Compare Prichard, Researches^ vol. iii. pp. 273, 324 ; 
Grimm, Deut. Myth. p. 454 ; Diez, Etym, Wtirterbuchy p. 244 ; Wilson, 
I*re-historic Martf vol. ii. p. 302. 

* Palgrave, English Commomoealth^ voL i. p. 103. 
» See p. 44, supra, 

* The word sclave, in the sense of setvus^ appears first in Lombardy, in 
the ninth centuiy. The earliest known occurrence of the word in Germany is 


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442 Words derived from Places. 

warfare does the history of this word disclose! and the 
contempt and hatred of race which the use of the word 
implies, is strongly shown by the fact that even so late' as 
the last century no person of Sclavonic blood was admis- 
sible into any German guild of artisans or merchants.* 

We have, however, an earlier and an analogous case 
of word-formation, which has not attracted the* same 
attention as the word slave. That Sclavonic people 
which was in the closest geographical proximity to Italy 
called themselves Serbs or Servians,* and it seems 
probable that the Latin word servusy and our own deri- 
vative SERF, originated from causes similar to those 
which have given us the word slave. The probability 
of this being the true etymology of servus is much 
increased by the numerous parallel cases of ethnic terms 
being perverted to be the designation of servile races. 
The manner in which the words Davus, Geta, and Syrus 
are applied to slaves in the Graeco-Latin comedies* 
exhibits in a half completed state the same linguistic 
process which has given us the words slave and serf, and 
at the same time indicates that the Grecian slave 
markets must have been largely supplied by Dacians, 
Goths, and Syrians.* Aristophanes uses the word 

in the year 996 : — '* Ex:clesiae servos vel sdavos.^ Schafarik, Slaw, Aiiertk, 
vol. ii. p. 27 ; Monumenta boica, 28, I, p. 267, quoted by Mone, Cdtuckt 
Forschungen^-p, 251. 

^ See Schafarik, Slaw, Alterth, vol ii. p. 42 ; Amdt, Europ. Sprtuk, 
p. 291 ; Donaldson, New Crafylus^ p. 385 ; Varronianus, p. 66 ; Gibbon, 
chap. Iv. vol. viL p. 76 ; Palgrave, Normandy and England^ vol. i. p. 379 ; 
Sheppard, Fall of Rome, p. 143 ; Zeuss, Die Deutschaiy p. 646 ; Pictet, 
Orig. Indo-Eur. part ii. p. 204. 

• The root s-rb denotes " kinsmanship." The modem usage of the 
word servility is an illustration of the habits engendered by a state of 

Pott, in Kuhn's Zeitschrify vol ix. p. 2 1 6. We have also the less fie- 


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Servile Races. 443 

a-Kvffatva in the sense of a female house-servant* The 
word SovXof is probably derived from the A(iXo7re9>a subject 
race of Thessaly ; and the HELOTS were the aboriginal 
inhabitants of the Peloponnesus, who were reduced to 
slavery at the time of the Dorian conquest. The rich 
treasure-house of language has preserved a curious me- 
morial of the fact that the Saxon conquest of England 
was accompanied by a reduction to servitude of the 
indigenous race. Till within the last three centuries the 
word VILLAIN retained the meaning of a peasant^ In 
Domesday the villani are the praedial serfs. The root 
of the word is, not improbably, the Anglo-Saxon 
wealky a foreigner, or Welshman,* an etymology 
which, if correct, proves that servitude must have 
been the ordinary condition of the Celts under Saxon 

We have a somewhat analogous case in British India. 
Porters and palanquin-bearers go by the name of 
COOLIES, a name which has been extended to include 
the Indian labourers who have replaced the negro 
slaves in the sugar plantations of Tropical America. 
The word Coolie is a corruption of the name of a 

qnent sUye-names A^cmt, in Theocritns (v. 5), Nc0Vi|r/Wir, in Plantns, and 
errra\oi«c^ri|s, in Athenseus (vi. 264). 

1 So St Paul uses Sictf^s as an equivalent of barbarian. Colossians, 
chap. ill. V. II. 

s The change to the present meaning of the word is analogous to that 
-which has transformed the significations of boor (bauer, or peasant), knave 
(boyX and imp (child). 

s See pp. 62 — 64, supra, Scha&rik, Slaw, Alterth. vol. i p. 50. The 
-word vUe may be from the same root, wecUk, Ibid. vol. L p. 377. Much 
may doubtless be said in favour of the old derivation of these words from 
the Latin viUa and vUis. But at all events we may believe that the obvious 
Xeutonic analogy exercised a reflex influence on the usage of the words. 

> QL the name of the TeilfiOi of Poitou. 


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444 Words derived from Places, 

Turanian hill-tribe, the Coles or K61as, who occupy the 
lowest place in the Indian labour-market^ 

The word Kip is used in Greek to denote a mercenary 
soldier, the Carians having habitually hired themselves 
out to fight the battles of their neighbours. In like 
manner the Shawi, a tribe of desert nomads, were en- 
listed by the French after their Algerian conquest, and 
the name has been corrupted into ZOUAVE, while the 
ranks are filled by the gamins of the streets of Paris.* 
The word Sikh may possibly be destined to undeigo a 
similar change of meaning. 

The luxurious sensuality which prevailed at Sybaris 
has attached a disgraceful signification to the word 
SYBARITE, and the moral corruption which poisoned the 
mercantile and pleasure-loving city of Corinth caused the 
word Kopiv0Ld^€a6ai to become a synonym for kraipuv? 
just as the more healthy pleasures of the Sicelian peasant 
made the word aLKekl^eiv equivalent to opx^l^rdai* The 
dry upland sheep pastures of the Peloponnesus, and the 
rich corn-flats of Thebes have given us the two adjectives 
ARCADIAN and BOEOTIAN. An heroic man we call a 
TROJAN, a morose man a TURK, a benevolent man a 
good SAMARITAN, and "catching a TATAR" is a process 
more familiar than agreeable. The terse, pregnant way 
in which the Spartans expressed themselves still causes 
us to talk of LACONIC speech,* the pithy wit of the 
Athenians has left us the phrase ATTIC salt, and the 

1 Brace, Races of the Old Worlds p. 103. 

« Ibid. p. 172. 

s See Becker, Charicles, p. 246. 

* Miiller, Dorians^ voL iL p. 339. 

* The Italian word iadino, easy, shows that Latin was the easiest lan- 
guage for an Italian to acquire. Compare the German deutiich, plain, and 
our own phrase, " It is Greek to me." 


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Words derived from Ethnic Names. 445 

bitter laughter of the Sardinians is commemorated in 
the expression, " a SARDONIC smile." 

From Thrax, a Thracian, the Romans, by the change 
of a single letter, derived the word threx, a gladiator, a 
fact which indicates the region from which the arena 
was supplied with hardy mountain combatants. The 
usage of the words K/cwJ?, 1X0^X070)^, and Mi;<ro9 would 
prove equally suggestive.^ 

The word BRIGAND, as we have seen,^ is not im- 
probably derived from the name of the Brigantes, or 
perhaps from Briga, a border town near Nice. The 
word brigant first appears in the sense of a light-armed 
soldier, and then it takes the meaning of a robber. 
Next we find brigante, a pirate ; and the pirate's ship is 
called a brigantine, of which the word brig is a con- 

"Jeddart justice," which denotes the practice of 
hanging the criminal first and trying him afterwards, 
is a reminiscence of the wild border life of which the 
town of Jedbuigh was the centre. 

From Tarifa the Moorish cruisers sallied forth to 
plunder the vessels passing through the Straits of 
Gibraltar, but discovering the impolicy of killing the 
goose that laid the golden egg, they seem to have levied 
their black mail on a fixed scale of payment, which, 
from the name of the place where it was exacted, came 
to be called a TARIFF.* 

1 See Donaldson, Varnmianus, p. 449 ; Miiller, Dorians, vol. ii. p. 300; 
Schafkrik, Slaw. Alierth. vol. i p. 5a. 

« See p. a55, si^ra, 

s See Diez, Etymolog, Worterbuckt p. 69 ; Menage, Origines^ p. 149. 

4 See, however, Freytag, s. v. \ Diez, Efymol, IVorterlmchf p. 342 ; and 
Pihan, Ghssaire, p. 371, who prefer a derivation from the Arabic *ta^ri/, a 
declaration. The word to sally is no doubt from satire^ though there is a 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

446 Words derived from Places. 

The word CANNIBAL is probably a corruption of the 
name of the Caribs or Caribals, a savage West Indian 
people, among whom the practice of cannibalism was 
supposed to prevail.^ The horrible custom of scalping 
fallen enemies was usual among the Scythian tribes, 
and Herodotus gives us a picture of the string of bloody- 
trophies hanging to the warrior's rein. Hence arose 
the word diroaKvOl^etv, to scalp, which we find in 
Euripides. The word ASSASSIN probably comes from 
the name of a tribe of Syrian fanatics who, like the 
Thugs of India, considered assassination in the light of 
a religious duty.^ 

During the last century false political rumours were 
often propagated from Hamburg, then the chief port of 
communication with Germany. " A piece of Hamburg 
news " seems to have become a proverbial expression for 
a canard, and it is easy to see how this phrase has been 
pared down into the modem slang term HUMBUG.' The 
expressive American term BUNCUM is due to the 

temptation to deduce it from Sallee, another chief station of the Moorish 
pirates. Conair is certainly not from Corsica ; though, possiblj, riff raff 
may be derived from the Riff pirates. 

1 Trench, Study of Words, p. 137. 

> Diefenbach (CelHca, i. p. 24) derives the name from the Kurdish word 
asen or hassifty iron. The name of the tribe, perhaps, oomes firom the 
hashishy an intoxicating preparation of hemp with which the members of 
the sect worked themselves up to the requisite degree of recklessness 
Manage, Origines, p. 64 ; Pihan, Ghssaire, 'pp. 43, 147 ; De Sacy, in 
Memoires deVImtUuieiox 1818, apud Diez, Etym, WorUrbuch, p. 29. 

s See Outlines of Humbug, a brochure ascribed to the late An:hbi8faop 
Whately. The word has also been derived from an alchemist named 
Hombeig, who professed to have discovered the Philosopher's stone. 
Hotten, Slang Dictionary, p. 157. The analogous slang word Bosa has, I 
imagine, been imported from the Cape, the metaphor having been taken 
from the rubbishing and worthless " bush," which is burned regulariy evcrr 
autumn. See, however, Hotten, Slang Diet p. 81. 


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Humbug — Spruce — Saunter, 447 

member for the county of Buncombe, in North Carolina. 
In the State Legislature he made a speech, full of high- 
flown irrelevant nonsense, and when called to order he 
explained that he was not speaking to the House, he was 
talking to Buncombe. Castle blarney is, of course, in 
Ireland, and the famous stone can still be seen and 
kissed by those who desire to test its virtues. By a good- 
natured allusion to another peculiarity of our Irish 
fellow-countrymen, we term a certain characteristic 
confusion of ideas an Hibemianism. 

A SPRUCE person was originally a person dressed 
in the Prussian fashion. Thus Hall, the chronicler, 
describes the appearance of Sir Edward Haward and 
Sir Thomas Parre "in doblettes of crimosin veluet, 
voyded lowe on the backe, and before to the cannell 
bone, lased on the breastes with chaynes of siluer, and 
ouer that shorte clokes of crimosyn satyne, and on their 
heades hattes after dauncers fashion, with feasauntes 
fethers in theim : They were appareyled after the fashion 
of Prusia or Spruce."^ 

Though the pilgrims of the eighth and succeeding 
centuries were often only " commercial travellers," and 
still more frequently "vacation tourists,"^ and although 
the visitation of foreign shrines did much to dispel na- 
tional prejudices and to unite nations, yet we may be 
glad, on moral as well as on religious grounds, that the 
practice of pilgrimages, which formed so noticeable a 
feature in the life of the Middle Ages, has now ceased, 
at least among ourselves ; for in the word SAUNTERER 
we have a proof that, in popular estimation, idle and 
vagabond habits were acquired by those who made the 

1 Hall, Chronicle, p. 513. 

« Sec Thrupp, Anglo-Saxon Home, p. 241. 


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44^ Words derived from Places, 

pilgrimage to the Sainie Terre, or Holy Land.^ A 
ROAMER was one who had visited the tombs of the two 
Apostles at Rome, and this word conveys also in its 
present usage an intimation of unsettled habits similar 
to that which is contained in the word saunterer. The 
Italian word romeo implies no moral censure, but means 
simply a pilgrim ; and hence we may perhaps infer, that 
where the distance to be traversed was small, the evil 
effects of the pilgrimage were not so manifest 

From the Canterbury pilgrimages to the shrine of 
St. Thomas comes the word CANTER,* which is an 
abbreviation of the phrase "a Canterbury gallop"* — the 
easy ambling pace of the pilgrims as they rode along 
the grassy lane which follows the foot of the North 
Downs of Kent for many miles, and which still retains 
its title of the Pilgrims' Road. 

St. Fiacre (Fiachra) was an Irish saint of great 
renown, who established himself as a hermit at Meaux, 
some five-and-twenty miles from Paris. His tomb 
became a great place of pilgrimage, which was per- 
formed even by royal personages, such as Anne of 
Austria. The miracle-working shrine being frequented 
by many infirm persons who were unable to perform 
the pilgrimage on foot, carriages were kept for their 
convenience at an inn m the suburbs of Paris, which had 

1 The Palestine pilgrims were also caJHeA palmers^ from the palm branches 
which they brought home with them from the Holy Sepulchre. 

' The word canter is not found in any continental language, as it would 
be, if it were derived, as has been supposed, from cantherius, a gelding. 
See Wedgwood, £ng, Eiym, vol. i p. 295 ; Stanley, Memorials of Cam' 
terbury, p. 196. 

s It is possible that the word gaUop may be in like manner connected 
with Galoppe in Flanders. Diefenbach derives it from wedUity to wander. 
From the Cheviot hills we have the slang verb to chevy, a reminiscence 
of Chevy Chase. 


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Canter — Fiacre — Tawdry, 449 

the sign of St. Fiacre ; and now, long after the pilgri- 
mages have ceased, the hired carriages of Paris retain 
the name of FIACRES.^ 

St. Etheldreda, or, as she was commonly called, St 
Awdrey, was the patron saint of the Isle of Ely. She 
is said to have died of a swelling in the throat, which 
she considered as a judgment on her for her youthful 
fondness for necklaces. Hence, at the fair held at the 
time of the annual pilgrimage, it Was the custom for the 
pilgrims to purchase, as mementoes of their journey,^ 
chains of lace or silk, which were called " St. Awdrey's 
chains." These being of a cheap and flimsy structure, 
the name of St Awdrey, corrupted into tawdry, has 
come to be the designation of cheap lace and showy 

1 See M^age, Origines^ p. 31$ ; Alban Butler, Lives of the Saints ; 
Yonge, Christian Names^ vol. ii. p. 97. 

' So keys were brought away by the romeos ^ho had visited the tomb of 
St Peter, palm-branches by the palmers from the Holy Land, and scallop- 
shells from the sea-shore near Compostelia. St. James* day is still com- 
memorated by London urchins by oyster-shell grottos, for the construction 
of which the contributions of passers-by artf solicited^ On the various 
signs of pilgrimage see the description of a pilgrim in Piers Ploughman, 

lines 3541— 3552 J— 

" A boUe and a bag^e 

He bar by his syde, 

And hundred of ampuUes 

On hisr hat seten, 

Signes of Syna^, 

And shelles of Galice^ 

And many tf croiiche on his eloke, 

And keyes of Rome, 

And the vemyclc bi-fore ; 

For men sholde knowne. 

And se bi hise signes, 

Whom he sought hadde." 

» See Notes and Queries, second series, voL xi. pp. 226, 300 ; Taylor, An^ 
ttqtatates Curiosa, p. 65 ; Stanley, Memorials of Canterbury, p. 221. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

450 Words derived from Places. 

In a wild district of Derbyshire, between Macclesfield 
and Buxton, there is a village called Flash, surrounded 
by uninclosed land. The squatters on these commons, 
with their wild gipsy habits, travelled about the neigh- 
bourhood from fair to fair, using a slang dialect of their 
own. They were called the Flash men, and their dialect 
Flash talk ; and it is not difficult to see the stages by 
which the word FLASH has reached its present signi- 
fication.1 A SLANG is a narrow strip of waste land by 
the roadside, such as those which are chosen by gipsies 
for their encampments. To be " out on the slang," in 
the lingo used by thieves and gipsies, means to travel 
about the country as a hawker,^ encamping by night on 
the roadside slangs, A travelling show is also called 
a slang. It is easy to see how the term was transferred 
to the language spoken by hawkers and itinerant show- 
men.^ The phrase, "using BILLINGSGATE," which has 
spread from England to America, reminds us that the 
language of London fishwives is not so choice as their 
fish ; and " a BABEL of sounds," refers to the confusion 
of tongues at the Tower of Babylon or Babel. 

A few remaining terms, derived from places, may be 
here collected. 

The winding river MEANDER has given us a verb ; and 
the name of the RUBICON has now almost passed into 
our vocabulary. From the Moriscoes of Spain we have 
the words MORRIS boards, and MORRIS dances.* 

1 Smiles, Lives of the Engineers, voL li. p. 307; 

' Hotten, Siang Dictionary, p. 234, 

> A writer in Notes and Queri^^ second series, vol. xi. p. 471, andvoL m. 
p. 445, derives slang from jlie name of the Dutch General Slangenbeig, 
who commanded a part of the English forces, and whose unintelligible ob- 
jurgations seem to have puzzled the troops under his command. 
- * Skinner, Etymologicon, s. v. ; Drake, Shakspeare and his Times^ voL i, 
pp. 157, 158. 


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Flash — Bedlam— Palace. 45 1 

Political parties have sometimes assumed names 
derived from local sources. The leaders of the GIROND- 
ISTS were the deputies from the department of the 
Gironde. The jacobins took their name from the 
convent of St. James, in which the meetings of the 
revolutionary club were held, A TEMPLAR now studies 
law in the former residence of the crusading Knights of 
the Temple of Jerusalem. The Court of Arches was 
originally held in the arches of Bow Church — St. Mary 
de Arcubus — the crypt of which was used by Wren to 
support the present superstructure. When we talk of 
finding ourselves in a perfect BEDLAM we do not always 
remember that the rapacity and the vandalism of the 
English Reformers were redeemed by some good deeds 
— one of which was the assignment of the Convent of 
St Mary of Bethlehem for the reception of lunatics, 
who used previously to be chained to a post, if indeed 
they, were not left utterly uncared for. The hospital of 
St. Lazarus, at Naples, has, in a somewhat similar way, 
given a name to those who would be its most fitting 
occupants — the Neapolitan LAZZARONI. 

The porch of a cathedral is called the GALILEE, 
probably because to the crusaders and pilgrims advanc- 
ing from the North, Galilee formed the frontier or 
entrance to the Holy Land.^ 

On the Mons Palatinus — a name the etymology of 
which carries us back to the time when sheep were 
bleating on the slope * — was the residence of the Roman 

1 Stanley, Sinia and Palestine, p. 356. 

* So the CERAMicus, or "Potter's field," at Athens, was converted into 
the most beautiful quarter of the city, containing the academy, lyceum, &c. 
The name of the TUtLERiES denotes that the site was once a " Tile yard ; " 
and that of the escurial shows that the palace was built upon a "heap 
of refuse from an exhausted mine." Seep. 29O1 supra, 

G G 2 n \ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

452 Words derived from Places, 

emperors, which, from its site, was called the Palati(n)um, 
or Palatium. Hence the word PALACE has come to be 
applied to all royal or imperial residences. The Count 
Palatine was, in theory, the official who had the super- 
intendence of the household of the Carolingian empe- 
rors. As the foremost of the twelve peers of France, 
the Count Palatine took a prominent place in mediae- 
val romance, and a PALADIN is the impersonification of 
chivalrous devotion. His feudal fief was the Palatinate 
— ^the rich Rhine valley above Frankfort. The counties 
Palatine of Chester, Durham, and Lancaster, are so called 
on account of the delegated royalty — thtjura regalia 
— formerly exercised by the Earls of Chester, the Bishops 
of Durham, and the Dukes of Lancaster.^ It is one of 
the curiosities of language that a petty little hill-slope 
in Italy should have thus transferred its name to a hero 
of romance, to a German state, to three English counties, 
to a glass house at Sydenham, and to all the royal 
residences in Europe.* 

1 Pembroke and Hexham, also march or border towns, had palatine 
rights. Lappenberg, Anglo-Saxon Kings, voL ii. p. 62, 

« See Yonge, Christian Names, vol iL p. 353 ; Manage, Origims, p. 506; 
MaxMuUeri Lectures, second series, p. 251. 


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TJie Science of Names. 45 j 




Dangers which hesd the Etymologic— -RuUs of InvestigatioH — Names in 
the United States — List of some of the chief components of Local Names, 

The study of local names can, as yet, hardly claim 
the dignity of a science. With the exception of Ernst 
Forstemann, those who have written on the subject have 
too often been contented to compile collections of " things 
not generally known," without attempting either to 
systematize the facts which they have brought together, 
or to deduce any general principles which might serve 
to guide the student in his researches. 

There are few subjects, perhaps;, in which such 
numerous dangers beset the inquirer. The patent 
blunders, and the absurdly fanciful explanations of ety- 
mologists have become a byeword. It may be well, 
therefore, to clear the way for a scientific treatment of 
the subject by an examination of some of these sources 
of error, and by the suggestion of a few obvious rules 
which should be constantly kept in view by those 
who attempt the investigation of the meaning of ancient 


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454 Onofnatology. 

The fundamental principle to be borne in mind is an 
axiom which alone makes the study of local names 
possible, and which has been tacitly assumed in the 
title of this volume, and throughout the preceding 
chapters. This axiom asserts that local names are in 
no case arbitrary sounds. They are always ancient 
WORDS, or fragments of ancient words — each of them, 
in short, constituting the earliest chapter in the local 
history of the PLACES to which they severally refer. 

Assuming, therefore^ as axiomatic, the significancy of 
local names, it need hardly be said that in endeavouring 
to detect the meaning of a geographical name, the first 
requisite is to discover the language from which the 
name has been derived. The choice will mostly lie 
within narrow limits — geographical and historical con- 
siderations generally confining our choice to the three 
or four languages which may have been vernacular in 
the region to which the name belongs. No interpre- 
tation of a name can be admitted, however seemingly 
appropriate, until we have first satisfied ourselves of the 
historical possibility, not to say probability, of the 
proposed etymology. For example, LAMBETH, as we 
have seen, is a Saxon name, meaning the loam-hithe, 
or muddy landing-place. We must not, as a Saturday 
Reviewer has amusingly observed, plume ourselves on 
the discovery that lama is a Mongolian term for a chief 
priest, and beth a Semitic word for a house, and thus 
interpret the name of the place where the primate lives 
as the " house of the chief priest*' ^ 

^ Etymologies quite as absurd have been seriously propounded. Thns 
Jacobi, in his BedetUung der bohmischen Dorfnamen^ derives from the 
Sclavonic the names of Jerusalem, Jericho, Africa, the Tigris, and the 
Euphrates. His absurdities are, if possible, suipassed by Geoi^ ^rer> 


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Rules of Investigation. 45 5 

In the next place the earliest documentary form of 
the name must be ascertained. In the case of an 
English name Kemble's collection of Anglo-Saxon 
Charters,^ Domesday Book, and Dugdale, must be 
diligently searched. For Scottish names Innes' Origines 
Parochiales Scotice will generally supply the necessary 
information. For names in France, the Dictionnaire des 
toutes les Communes de la France, by Girault de Saint 
Fargeau, may often be consulted with advantage. But 
if the name to be investigated occurs in Germany, all 
trouble will be saved by a reference to Forstemann's 
systematic list of mediaeval German names — the Alt-- 
deutsches Namenbuch — a work which only a German 
could have conceived or executed, and which, even in 
Germany, must be considered a marvellous monument 
of erudite labour. 

If no early form of the name can be discovered, we 
must, guided by the analogy of similar names, endeavour 
to ascertain it by conjecture, bearing carefully in mind 
those well-known laws of phonetic change to which 
reference has already been made.* 

This having been done, it remains to interpret the 
name which has been thus recovered or reconstructed. 
To do this with success requires a knowledge of the 
ancient grammatical structure and the laws of compo-- 

who, in his Vulgar Errors Ancunt and Modern^ derives from Welsh roots 
ail Scriptural names — Adam and Eve, Shem, Ham, and Jsephet, the Nile, 
the four rivers of Paradise, &c. ; and he naively says of those who refuse to 
accept his absurdities, "Our mistakes . . . a£ford melancholy instances of 
want of judgment, . . . and they prove that our opinions may not rest so 
much on rational grounds, as on weak imaginations, which in such cases as 
herein cited produce ridiculous and chimerical allusions or ludicrous and 
delusive explanations/' — p. Lxxxv. 

^ Codex Diphmaticus ^vi Saxonici, 

• See pp. 382, 383, supra. 


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4S6 Onomatology. 

sition which prevailed in the language in which the name 
is significant* — the relative position, for instance, of ad- 
jective and substantive,* and the usage of prepositions 
and formative particles. 

Great aid will be derived from the analog of other 
names in the same neighbourhood. A sort of epidemic 
seems to have prevailed in the nomenclature of certain 
districts, There is hardly a single English county, or 
French province, or German principality, which does 
not possess its characteristic clusters of names — all con- 
structed on the same type.* The key that will unlock 
one of these names will probably also unlock the rest of 
those in the same group. 

Having thus arrived at a probable interpretation of 
the name in question, we must proceed to test the 
result. If the name be topographic or descriptive, we 
must ascertain if it conforms to the physical features of 
the spot ; if, on the other hand, the name be historic in 
its character, we must satisfy ourselves as to the historic 
possibility of its bestowal 

This scientific investigation of names is not, indeed, 
always possible. In the case of the Old World, the 
simple-minded children of semi-barbarous times have 
unconsciously conformed to the natural laws which 
regulate the bestowal of names. The names of the Old 

^ For Celtic names, the Grammatic(k CelticOy of Zeuss, will be found in- 
dispensable, and for Teutonic names, Grimm*s Deutsche Grammatik, 

« See p. 223, supra, 

3 The local names invented by our popular novelists frequently set all 
(Etymological propriety at defiance. We have all sorts of impossible com- 
pounds, we have thotpes^ holpts^ and thwaUes in Wessex, Cornish namo 
in Wales, and Kentish forms in the Midland counties. Mrs. Howitt*s 
novel of The Cost of Caergwyn forms a praiseworthy exception to the 
general rule. 


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Names in the United States, 457 

World may be systematized — ^they describe graphically 
the physical features of the country, or the circumstances 
of the early settlers. 

But in the New World, settled, not by savages but 
by civilized men, a large proportion of the names are 
thoroughly barbarous in character. We find the map of 
the United States thickly bespattered with an incon- 
gruous medley of names — ^for the most part utterly 
inappropriate, and fulfilling very insufficiently the chief 
purposes which names are intended to fulfil. In every 
State of the Union we find repeated, again and again, 
such unmeaning names as Thebes, Cairo, Memphis, 
Troy, Rome, Athens, Utica, Big Bethel, and the like. 
What a poverty of the inventive faculty is evinced by 
these endless repetitions, not to speak of the intolerable 
impertinence displayed by those who thus ruthlessly 
. wrench the grand historic names from the map of the 
Old World, and apply them, by the score, without the 
least shadow of congruity, to collections of log huts in 
some Western forest. The incongruity between the 
names and the appearance of some of these places is 
amusing. Thus Corinth "consists of a wooden grog- 
shop and three log shanties; the Acropolis is repre- 
sented by a grocery store All that can be seen of 

the city of Troy ... is a timber house, three log huts, a 
saw mill, and twenty negroes." ^ 

The more ancient names in the States are for the 
most part far less objectionable. Indian names, such as 
Niagara, Massachusetts, Missouri, or Arkansas, though 
not always euphonious, are otherwise unexceptionable. 
And the same may be said of most of the names given 
by the trappers and pioneers of the Far West, names 

1 Russell, Diary North and Souths voL il pp. 45, 46. 


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45 8 Onomatology, 

such as Blue Ridge, North Fork, Pine Bluff, Red River* 
Hickory Flats, Big Bone Lick, Otter Creek, and the 
town of Bad Axe. Henpeck City and Louse Village, 
both in California, are, to say the least, very expressive, 
and the town of Why Not, in Mississippi, seems to 
have been the invention of some squatter of doubtful 
mind.^ Such names as Louisiana, Columbia, Pittsburg, 
Charleston, New York, Albany, Baltimore, Washing- 
ton, Raleigh, Franklin, or Jefferson, have an historical 
significance and appropriateness which incline us to 
excuse the confusion arising from the frequency with 
which some of them have been bestowed* Much also 
may be said in favour of names like Boston, Plymouth, 
and Portsmouth, whereby the colonists have striven to 
reproduce, in a land of exile, the very names of the 
beloved spots which they had left. Smithtown and 
Murfreesboro' may perhaps pass muster, though Browns- 
ville ^ and Indianopolis have a somewhat hybrid appear- 
ance, Flos, Tiny, and the other townships which a 
late Canadian Governor named after his wife's Iapd(^^ 
are at all events distinctive names, though perhaps 
showing a want of respect to the inhabitants.* But the 
scores of Dresdens, Troys, and Carthages, are utterly 
indefensible; they betray quite as much poverty of 
invention as Twenty-fourth Street, Fifth Avenue, or 
No. 10 Island, while they do not possess the practical 

1 See Bowditch, Suffolk Surnames, p. 259. 

* Seep. 319, Jw/zTt?, 

* Brownwill or Brownwell would more correctly denote the abode tA 
Brown : see p. 159, supra. The vUUs and cities which we find so profusdjr 
in the States show the land-speculating and grandiose character of the 
nation, just as the hams, tons, and worths of England are a proof of Anglo- 
Saxon seclusiveness. See p. 118, supra, 

* Quarterly Review, vol. cxvi. p. 3. 


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Names in the United States. 459 

advantages of the numerical system of nomenclature, 
and must be a source of unending perplexity in the 
post-office, the booking-office, and the schoolroom. The 
geographical etymologist regards a laiige portion of the 
names in the United States with feelings which are akin 
to those experienced by the ecclesiologist who, having 
traced with delight the national developments of the 
pointed architecture of western Europe, beholds the 
incongruous restorations — so called — for which the last 
century is to blame, or the Pagan temples, the Eg>'ptian 
tombs, and Chinese pagodas, with which architectural 
plagiarists have deformed our cities. Such plagiarisms 
and incongruities are as distasteful as the analogous 
barbarisms with which the map of the United States 
is so woefully disfigured. The further perpetration of 
such aesthetic monstrosities as those to which re- 
ference has been made is now happily impossible. Our 
architects have taken up the idea of Gothic art, and 
developed, from its principles, new and original creations, 
instead of reproducing, asqiie ad nauseam^ servile copies 
or dislocated fragments of ancient buildings. Would 
that the same regeneration could be effected in the 
practice of name-giving. If the true principles of Anglo- 
Saxon nomenclature were understood, • our Anglo- 
American and Australian cousins might construct an 
endless series of fresh names, which might be at once 
harmonious, distinctive, characteristic, and in entire con- 
sonance with the genius of the language.* 

' Many of the Swabian patron3rmics which have not been reproduced in 
Bngland would furnish scores of new names of a thoroughly characteristic 
Anglo-Saxon type, if combined with appropriate suffixes, such as ham, ton, 
fauist, ley, worth, by, den, don, combe, sted, borough, thorpe, cote, stoke, 
set, thwaite, and holt Thus Senningham, Wickington, Erkington, Fre- 
lington, Moringham, Heimingham, Lcnnington, Teppington, Ersingham, 

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460 Onomatology. 

When we attempt a scientific analysis and classifi- 
cation of local names, we find that by far the greater 
number contain two component elements. One of these, 
which in Celtic names is generally the prefix, and in 
Teutonic names the suffix, is some general term mean- 
ing island, river, mountain, dwelling, or inclosure, as 
the case may be. Thus we have the Celtic prefixes, 
Aber, Inver, Ath, Bally, Dun, Kil, Llan, Ben, Glen, 
Strath, Loch, Innis, Inch ; and the Teutonic suffixes, 
borough, by, bourn, den, don, ton, ham, thorpe, cote, 
hurst, hill, ley, shiels, set, stow, sted, wick, worth, fell, 
law, dale, gay, holm, ey, stone, and beck. 

This element in names is called the "Grundwort" by 
Forstemann.* We have already, in the case of river- 
names, called it the substantival element. The other 
component serves to distinguish the island, river, or 
village, from other neighbouring idands, streams, or 
villages.* This portion of the name, which we have 
called adjectival, has been denominated the "Bestim- 
mungswort " by Forstemann.^ It is frequently a per- 
sonal name* — ^thus GRIMSBY is Grim's dwelling, ULLS- 
THORPE is Ulf s village, balmaghie is the town of the 
Maghies, clapham is the home of Clapha, KENSINGTON 

Steslingham, Mensington, Relvington, Plenningham, Aldington, DeUdnf^- 
ton, Weighingham, Ensington, Melvington, are characteristic Anglo-Saxon 
names, which nevertheless do not appear in the list of English villages. 

1 Forstemann, Die Deutschen Ortsnamett^ pp. 26 — 107. 

* There are only about 500 German GrundmSrter^ which, variously com- 
bined vrith the BestintmungsworUr^ constitute the 500,000 names which are 
found upon the map of Germany. Forstemann, Oftsnawun^ p. 108. 

s Forstemann, Ibid, pp. 109 — 174; Bender, Dcutschen Ortsnamtn^ 
pp. 97, 98. 

^ While local names are frequently derived from personal names, the con- 
verse has been the case in a still greater number of instances. See Pott, 
Fersotunnamen^ p. 330, and passim ; Dixon, Surnamfs, passim. 


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Component Elemettts of Nantes. 461 

the homestead of the Kensings. In a larger number of 
cases, instead of a personal name we have a descriptive 
adjective denoting the relative magnitude, the relative 
position or antiquity, the excellence, or, sometimes, the 
inferiority of the place, the colour or nature of the soil, 
or its characteristic productions.^ A full enumeration, 
not to say a discussion, of these roots would occupy 
a volume — a few of the more important are enumerated 

1 On German roots of this class, such as breit^ platt^ alt, neu, weiss^ 
sckwartZy &c. see Forstemann, Dk Diutschtn Ortsnameu^ and Bendar, Die 
Deutschen OrtsTtamertf pp, 97,. 98. 


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462 Onomatolcgy. 





From the Celtic word mor or nuewr, great, we have the names of 
Benmore, and Fenmaen-Mawr, the great mountainsi KUmore, the great 
church, and Glenmore, the great glen. Much Wenlock, Macdesfield, 
Maxstoke in Warwickshire, Great Missenden, Grampound, and GranviUe, 
contain Teutonic and Romance roots of the same import Similariy 
MISSISSIPPI Is an Indian term of precisely the same meaning as the neigh- 
bouring Spanish name Rio Grande, which, as well as the* Arabic guadal- 
QUIVER (keber^ great), and the Sarmatian word wolga, signifies **thc 
great river. "1 

From the Celtic beg or bach, little, we have Bally begg and Inis ht^ 
Glydwr Each, Pont Neath Vechan, and Cwm Bychan. We find seven! 
Teutonic Littleboroughs, Littleburys, Littletons and Clintons. Majorca. 
and MINORCA are the greater and lesser isles, boca cuica is the 
great mouth. We find the prefix broad, in Braddon, Bradley, Bradshaw, 
Bradford, and Ehrenbreitstein, and some of the Stratfords and Strettoos 
are probably from the root " strait," and not " street." 


The points of the compass afford an obvious means of distingmshing 
between the places of the same name. Thus we have Norfolk and SafifoDc, 
Wessex, Essex, and Sussex, Northampton and Southampton, Soney, 
Westmoreland, Northumberland, and Sutherland; Norton (57) and Sut- 
ton (77), Norbury (7) and Sudbury (7), Easton (14) and Weston (3<5), 
Eastbury (21) and Westbury (10), Easthorpe and Westhorpe^ Norl^h, 

^ Miiller, U^ruche Volkstamm, voL ii. p. 105, 

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Names Denoting Size — Position, 463 

Sudley and Westley.i The Erse wr, the west, appears iu the name of 
ORMUNDE or West Munster, as well, possibly, as in those of Ireland and 


The ZUYDER ZEE is the southern sea; dekkan means the south in 
Sanskrit; and algarbe is an Arabic name meaning the west' The 
OSTROGOTHS and VISIGOTHS were the eastern and western divisions of the 
Goths, as distinguished from the Massagetse, or the great Goths, the chief 
body of the nation.** AUSTRIA (Oestreich) is the eastern empire, West- 
phalia the western plain, and the weser (anciently Wisaraha) is the 
western river. ^ From the close resemblance of the sounds it is sometimes 
difficult to distinguish between roots meaning the east and those meaning 
the west Thus ostend in Belgium is at the west {ouest) end of the great 
canal ; and ostend in Essex is the east end of the land. In Chinese, pih 
and nan mean respectively north and south. Hence we have pih-king 
and nan-king, the northern and southern courts ; pih-ling and nan- 
ling, the northern and southern mountains ; nan-hai, the southern sea," 
and the kingdom of an-nam, or the *' peace of the south."' 

PERiBA is the country "beyond" the Jordan, antiubanus is the 
range "opposite" Lebanon. Transylvania is ^the country beyond the 
forest-clad range of mountains which bounds Hungary to the south-east. 
Hinton (14) is a common name for a village behind a hill, as in the case of 
Cherry Hinton, near Cambridge. 

From the German prepositions an^ in^ and s», we have the names 
of Amsteg, Andermat, Imgrund, Zermatt, Zerbruggen, and Zermagem« 
From the Anglo-Saxon ^/, at, we have Atford, Adstock, Otford, and 
Abridge. • From the Celtic preposition ar, upon, we obtain armorica, 
the land "upon the sea," and arles (ar-l(uik), the town "upon the 
marsh. " * In the names of pomeranla, and of Prussia, we have the 
Sclavonic preposition/^, by. With Netherby, Dibden, Dibdale, Deeping 
(the low meadow), Holgate and Holloway, we may contrast High Wy- 
combe, High Ercal, Upton (42), Higham, Highgate, and Highstreet. 

1 See Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names, p. 10; Vilmar, OrUnamen, p. 239; 
Forstemann, Ortsnanim, p. 133, 
s See Betham, Gad, p. 81. 
» See pp. 76, 108, supra, 

* Bosworth, Origin, p. 114; Pictet, Orig. Indo-Europ. part i. p. 83; 
Forstemann, Ortsnamen, p. 212. 

^ Forstemann, Chtsnamen, p. 134, 

« Charnock, Local Etymology, p. 159, 204; Gibson, Etym, Geogr, p. 147, 

"f Quarterly Review, vol. cxvi. p. 284. 

* Ingram, Saxon Chron, p. 425. 
» See pp. 86, 384, supra. 


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464 Onomatology, 


There are numerous English villages which go by the names of Althorp, 
Alton, Elston, Elton, Eltham, Elbottle, Alcester, Aldbury, Abuiy, 
Albury, Aldborough, Aldburgh, and Oldbury, and on the Continent we 
find Altorf, Starwitz,^ Torres Vedras, Civita Vecchia near Rome^ and 
Citta Vecchia in Malta. 

On the other hand, there are in England alone more than 120 villages 
called Newton, besides Newport (12), Newnham (ii), Newland {\i\ 
Newark, Newbiggen (17), Newbold (11), Newbottle, Newstead, Newbary, 
Newby, Newcastle* (10), Newhall and Newburgh, which we may com- 
pare with Continental names like Villeneuve, Villanova, Neusiedel, 
Neustadt, Novgorod, Neville, Neufch&tel, Nova Zembla, Naples,— New- 
foundland, and N&blus. 


In ancient Anglo-Saxon and German names, the numerals which most 
commonly occur are four and seven, numbers which were supposed to 
have a mystical meaning. Such are Sevenoaks, Klosteisieben and 
Siebenbiirgen. Nine-elms dates from a later period. We have a moan- 
tain group called the Twelve Pins, in Ireland, and Fiinfkirchen and Zwei* 
briicken in Germany. Netmkirchen, however^ is only a corruption fA 
Neuenkirchen, or New Church.' The modem names of the andent 
Roman stations in the Upper Rhine valley, near Wallenstadt, are curiously 
derived from the Roman numerals. We ^nd, at regular intervals, as we 
proceed up the valley, the villages of Seguns, Tertzen, Quarten, Quinten 
and Sewes.^ 

The three cities of Oea, Sabrata, and Leptis in Africa, went coIlectiTdy 
by the name of tripolis." Tripoli in Syria was a joint colony from the 

1 From the Sclavonic stary^ old. 

s The New Castle built by the Normans on the Tyne is now Soo yeaxs 
years old, yet still keeps its name ; and N&bhis (Neapolb) in Palestine is 
twice that age, having been founded by Vespasian after the destruction of 
Samaria. New College is one of the oldest coUeges in Oxford, having 
been founded in 1386, and New Palace Yafxl, WestminstM-, is a memorial 
of the palace built by Rufus. 

> Bender, Ortsnamm^ p. 98. On names of this dass see Forstemaim, 
Oriinanun, p. 125. 

^ Tschudi, Hauptschlussdy p. 290; Holtimann, Kelten und Gtrwu 

p. 137. 

• Bochart, vol. iii. 479. 


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Names Denoting Age — Numerals, 465 

three cities of Tyre, Sidon, and Aradus.1 On the Lake Ontario there 
16 the Bay of the Thousand Isles, terceira, one of the Azores, is the 
third Island. The laccadives are the ten thousand islands, and the 
MALDIVES are the thousand isles. The Punjab is the land of the five 
rivers, and the doab* is the country between the *'two riveiB," the 
Ganges and the Jumna, plynlimmon is a corruption of Pnm-lnmon, 
the five hills ; and mizraim, the Biblical name of I^ypt, describes either 
the ''two" bonks of the NUe, or the "two" districts of Upper and Lower 


A lor larger number of names are derived from natural productions. 
Mineral springs are often denoted by some corruption of the Latin word 
Aquae. Thus we have Aix in Savoy, and Aix near Marseilles ; Aix la 
Chapelle, or Aachen, in Rhenish Prussia ; Acqui in Piedmont ; and Dax, 
or Dacqs, in Gascony. The misunderstood name Aquse Soils, or Aquae, 
probably suggested to the Anglo-Saxons the name of Ake manoes ceasteri* 
the invalid's city, which was changed at a later period to Bath, from a 
root which also supplies names to Bakewell, anciently Badecanwylla, in 
Deibyshire, and to the numerous Badens on the Continent THERMOPYLiC 
took its name from the hot springs in the defile; tierra del fuego 
from its volcanic fires; and reikjavxk, or "reck bay," was the Norse 
settlement in the neighbourhood of the geysers,' or "boilers." hecla 
was so called from the " cloak " of smoke hanging over the mountain. 

' See p. 7, supra, 

* The ab here is the Sanskrit and Persian word for water, which comes 
to us from the Persian through the Arabic, and which we have in the word 
jultf/ {jgviy rose ; and aJb^ water), as well as in shrub and syrop (schara^/ 
Diez, Etymol, Warterb, pp. 175, 319 ; cf. Latham, Efig. Lang, voL i. 
P> 355 9 Piluin, Glossaircy p. 169 ; Engelmann, Glossaire^ p. 83. 

' The word survives in Misr, the enchorial name of Cairo. Stanley^ 
Jeufish Churchy P« 7^ ; p. 80, supra, 

* The road from London to Bath long went by the name of Akeman 
Street, which survives in the name of a hollow still called Jacuman's 
Bottom. Cough's Camden, vol. L p. 1 19. 

* The words geyser^ yeasty gast^ gust, and ghost^ are from the same root, 
which signifies something boiling, bubbling up, or overflowing. Cf. the 
cognation of 4yc/40S and animus^ Pictet, Originesy pt ii. p. 540 ; Gladstone, 
Homer y p. 303. 


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466 Onomatology. 

VESUVIUS is an Oscan namCi meaning the emitter of smoke and sparksw^ 
The basaltic columns of staffa are well described by its name, "the isle 
of steps," a Norse name which we have repeated in the case of the basaltic 
rocks of STAPPEN in Iceland. 

Missouri is the muddy river, and the name may be compared with 
those of the foulbeck and the lambourn ; while the names of accho 
x>r acre, and of scinde, describe the sandy nature of the coontiy.* 
SANDWICH is the sandy bay : we have many analogous names, such as 
Sandhurst, Sandon, Sandford, Sandbach, and Peschkow, which last is 
derived from pesk^ the Sclavonic word for sand.' alum bay, in the Isle 
of Wight, is a modem name of the same class. 

The RIO DE LA PLATA, CUT river of plate, took its tiame from a few gold 
.and silver ornaments which Sebastian Cabot found in the possession of 
'the natives, and which he hoped were indications of an £1 Dorado, or 
golden land, in the interior. The gold coast and the ivory coast 
were names appropriately bestowed by early traders. The name of the 
ANDES is derived from the Peruvian word anta^ which means copper. 

Many names are derived from animals. We find that of the Ox in 
Oxley, and perhaps in Oxford ; ^d that of the Cow in Cowley ; f«w/, the 
Sclavonic name for an ox, appears in the numes of WoIIau (14), WoUin 
(6), and many other places,* We find Swine at Swindon, Swinibrd, 
^d Swingfield :— Kine at Kinton .—Neat Cattle at Nutford, and Nctley ;• 
and Sheep at Shipton and Shipley. The names of the Faroe Islands, 
and of FAIRFIELD, a mountain in Westmoreland, are probably from the 
Norse .^r, sheep. 

Deer, or perhaps wild animals generally (German, Thier ; Anglo-Saxon, 
dear) are found at Deerhurst and Dyrham in Gloucestershire, Dereham in 
Norfolk, Dereworth in Northamptonshire, jand Derby, anciently Deoraby. 
SCHWERIN, which serves as a nan^e for a German principality and three 
other places in Germany, is the exact Sclavonic equivalent of Derby. 

Other wild animals whose names often occur are: — 

The Stag ^t Hertford and Heurtley : the Fox or Tod at Foxley, Fox- 
hill, Foxhough, Todbum, ajid Todfield : the Wild Boar at Evershot and 
Eversley: the Seal at Selsey : the Otter at Otterboum in Hants: the 

1 Benfey, in Hofer's ZeUschrift, voLii. pp. 115, 116 ; Humboldt, Cosmos, 
vol i. p. 449. See p. 358, sup^a 
" See Stanley, Sinai and Pa., p. 264. 
• Buttmann, OrisnameHy p. 103. 
Buttmann, Ibid. p. 122. 
Morris, Local Etymology^ p. 10. 


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Natural Productions. 467 

Beaver at Beverley and Nant Fnmgon : ^ the Badger, or Broc, at Bagshot, 
at Broxboume, and at Brokenborongh in Wilts, anciently Broken-eber-egge, 
or Badger-boar-comer, s 

The Crane is found at Cranboume, and the Eagle at Eamley in Sussex, 
and Arley in Warwickshire, both of which are written EamcleAh in the 
Saxon charters. 

Ely was once famous for the excellence of its eels. In the Isle of Ely 
rents used to be paid in eels. 

The Norse word for a salmon is lax» Hence we have Laxvoe, or 
" salmon bay " in Shetland, Loch Laxford in Sutherland, the Laxay, or 
" salmon river,*' in the Hebrides, and also in Cantire, and the river Laxey 
in the Isle of Man, and five rivers called Laxa, in Iceland. We have 
Laxweir on the Shannon, Leixlip, or salmon-leap, on the LifTey, and 
Abbey Leix, in Queen's County. 

Zeboim is the ravine of hycenas, and ajalon the valley of stags, berne 
takes its name from the bears with which it formerly abounded, arlberg 
in the Tyrol is the Adlers berg, or eagle's mountain : and hapsburg, the 
stammschloss of the Austrian djmasty, is hawk castle.* 

S.WAN River was so called from the number of black swans seen there 
by Vlaming, the first discoverer.* The AZORES when discovered were 
found to abound in hawks ; the canaries in wild dogs ; the Camaroons ^ 
in shrimps ; the Galapagos Islands in turtles ; and the Bay of Panama 
in mud fish. There are five islands called tortuga, either from the 
turtles found on the coast, or possibly from the turtle-like shape.* The 
island of Margarita received its name from the pearls which Columbus 
obtained from the inhabitants. 

The island of barbadoes is said to have derived its name from the long 
beard-like streamers of moss hanging from the branches of the trees ; ^ 
the island of barbuda from the long beards of the natives; and the 
ladrones from their thievish propensities. The patagonians were so 
called by Magalhaens from their clumsy shoes. The name of Venezuela, 

1 See p. 369, supra. 

> See p. 368, supra, 

s On German names from animals, see Forstemann, Ortsnamen, pp. 143 
— 147 ; Buttmann, Ortsnamen^ p. i8. On Sclavonic Names, see Buttmann, 
Orisnamen, p. 120. On Norse Names, see Ferguson, Northmen ^ p. 124. 

4 Chamock, Local EtymoL p. 261. 

• Portuguese, camaroes, shrimps. Burton, Abeokuta, vol. i. p. 18 ; vol. 
ii. p. 48. 

« Thombury, Monarchs of the Main, vol. i. p. 28. 

7 Burton, Abeokuia, vol. ii. p. 78. 

H H 2 n \ 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 

468 Ofiomatology. 

or little Venice, is due to the Indian Tillages which were found built on 
piles in the lake Matacaybo.^ 

Names derived from those of plants are found in great abundance.* We 
have, for example — 

The Oak— Acton, Auckland^ Okely, Oakley, Sevenoaks.* From the 
Else doirt^ an oak, we deduce the names of Deny and Kildare; 

Elm^Nine Elms, ^mdon, Elmstead, Elmswell 

Ash — Ashton, Ashley. 

Beeeh — Buddand, Buckhuist. 

Birch— Berkeley, Birehok, Birbeck. 

Lame — Lindfield, Lyndhnrst 

Thorn — ^Thomey. Names derived from the thorn are very frequent ta 
the Saxon chaiteis. 
' Hazel — Hasilmere. 

Alder— AUerton, Aldenhot, AUerdale» Okiey, EUettoa. 

Api^e — Avallon, or Apple Island,^ Appleby, Appleton. 

Cherry — Cherry Hinton. 

Broom — Bromley, Bromptoo. 

Fem-*-Famham, FamborougK 

Rushes — Rusholme. 

Sedge — Sedgemoor, Sedgeley. 

Reeds— Rodney, Retford. 

Shrubs^ Shrewsbttiy and Shawbuiy. The names of Brescia and Bnicsels 
have been referred to a root connected with the law Latin ^ittda^ thicket, 
or brushwood.' 

The chief Sclavonic roots * of this class are : — 
dmb, the oak There are '200 places called Dubrau. 
bras^^ die binch, occurs in the names of 40 places. E^g. Braslaf. 
iipa, the lime, occurs in the names of 600 places. £*g* Leipsig, die 

" linden town." 
topol, the poplar. E.g, Toplitz. 

1 Cooley, Hist of Discovery^ vol. ii. p. 49 ; Thombuiy, MamarcJu^ voL i. 
p. 205. 

' On German names from plants, see Buttmann, Orttnamen^ p. 9 : 
Bender, Ortsnamm^ p. 1 14 ; Forstemann, OrUmim^n, pp. 6g^ 14a For 
Norse names, see Ferguson, Northmm^ p. 124. 

> Ingram, Sax, Chron. p. 425. 

* Moue, GtschkkU Hddmthums^ voL ii. p. 456. 

* See Diefenbach, Celtica, i. p. 217. Brussels may, however, be from 
the Flemish breecksal, a swamp. 

* See Buttmann, Ortsnatmn^ pp. 88 — 94. 


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Nantes implying excellence. 469 

The Mount of Olives and the Spice Islands are familiar instances of this 
mode of nomenclature. Safiron Walden took its name from the sai&on, 
the cultivation of which was introduced in the reign of Edward III. and 
which still to some extent continues.! gulistan is the place of roses.* 
The name of scio comes from scinoy mastic, tadmor, or paucyra, is 
the city of palms. ph(enicia is perhaps the land of pahns.' kn ruimon 
is the Fountain of the Pomegranate, cana, which stands close to the lake, 
is the reedy. ^ beth tapuah is the apple orchard,^ and anab means the 
grape. JAVA is the isle of mitmegs < (jayaKi^ and pulopenang means, in 
Malay, the island of the areca nuL brazil, as we have seen,' was named 
from the red dye-wood» which was the first article of export madeira, 
when discovered by the Portuguese in 1418, was found uninhabited and 
covered with dense forests. It received its name from the Portuguese word 
maderoy timber. The Rio madeira, an affluent of the Amazons, still 
flows through the immense forests from which it took its name. 


Names implying the excellence of the locality are far more common than 
those implying the reverse. Thus Formosa, funen, and joppa, in Portu- 
guese, Danish, and Hebrew, mean fine, or beautiAil. Valparaiso is 
Paradise Valley, and gennesareth is nearly identical in meaning. ^ The 
name of buenos ayres describes the delicious climate of Southern Brazil. 
The pacific Ocean seems calm to those who have just weathered the tem- 
pests of Cape Hoom. bungay is probably from the French • hon gui^ fair 
ford. PALERMO, a corruption of Panormus, is the haven sheltered from 
every wind. The Genoese gave balaclava its name of the beautiful quay, 
bdla chiava}^ The name of Bombay is from the Portuguese bona bahia, 

1 Loudon, Encydopadiaof Plants^ P-S^; Gough's Camden, vol. ii. p. 125. 

' Pihan, Glossaire^ p. 146. 

8 See page 79, supra, 

* Stanley, Sinai and Pal, p. 26a 

« Wilton, Negeb, p. 232. 

s Talbot, English Etymologies^ P-45'« 

7 See p. 408. supra, 

8 Stanley, Sinai and Pal, p. 374. 

' The Norman castle of Hugh Bigot accounts for the French name. See 
Gough's Camden, voL ii. p. 157. 
" Chamock, Local Etymology ^ p. 24, 


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470 Onomatology. 

the good bay, and well describes the harbour, one of the largest, safest, and 
most beaatiful m the world. ^ 

Cairo is the Anglicized form of the Arabic £1 Kahirah, the " victo- 
rious,"' ' and the name may be compared with that of vittoriosa, a suburb 
of Valetta which was built at the conclusion of the great siege. The 
Romans often gave their colonies names of good omen,* as Pax, Liberalius, 
Fidentia, Placentia (now piacenza), Valentia (now valance, valentz, 
and valentia), PoUentia (now polenza), Potentia (now s. maria po- 
tenza), Florentia (now firenze or Florence), Vicentia (now vicenza). 
Faventia (now faenza), and the queenly city Basilia (now Basel or Bale.) 

Names of bad omen * are rare. From the Anglo-Saxon hean, poor, we 
have Henlow, Hendon, and Henley.' perNambuco means the mouth of 
hdl, and bab-el-mandeb the gate of the devil.' m alp as is the bad fron- 
tier pass.' dungeness and Cape pelorus express the terrors of the 
sailor. Caltrop, Colton, Caldecote, and Cold Harbour, are all cold pbices, 
and the name of Mount Algidus may be paralleled by that of Coleridge. 
A volcano broke out on the ''most beautiful " island of calliste, which 
caused the name to be changed to thera, "the beast'' At the time 
of a subsequent eniption the island was placed under the protection of the 
Empress St Irene, whose name it still bears in the form of santorin.^ 


A few names, chiefly those of islands, bays, and mountains, are derived 
from the configuration of the land. Thus anguilla is the eel-shaped 
island. Drepanum, now trap an I, is from a Greek word, meaning a sickk. 
ZANCLE, the original name of Messina, is said to be derived from a Sicuhan 
root of the same significance. SICILV perhaps comes from a root allied tn 
sica, a sickle, and the name seems to have been first applied to the curved 
shore near Messina, and then extended to the whole ishind. ancona, 

' See Buckingham, Autobiography^ voL il p. 33S. 

* The real name of Cairo is Misr ; £1 Kahirah or Cairo is only a title of 
honour applied to the city, just as Genoa is called " La Supcrba," Verona, 
" La Degna," Mantua, " La Gloriosa," Vicenza, " L'antica," and Padua, 
• • La Forte. ' ' Fairholt, Up the Nile, p. 42. 

B See Niebuhr, Lectures on Ethnology and Googr, vol, ii. p. 291. 

* On names of ill omen, see Grimm, Cesch, d. deut. Spr, p. 780. 

* Monkhouse, Etymologies, p. 48. 

* Pihan, Glossaire, p. 49. 
7 See p. 190, supra. 

Bremer, Greece, vol. i. p. 329. ' 


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Names from Configuration — Colour. 471 

which preserves its original name unchanged, is built at the place where 
Monte Conero juts oui into the sea and then recedes, forming a sort of bent 
"elbow" (a7«»fK).i 

The name of gomphi, near Pindusj expresses the "wedge-shaped" for- 
mation of the rocks,* and may be compared with that of the needles in 
the Isle of Wight At meteora the convents are poised " aloft in the air " 
on the summits of rocky columns.* The name Trapezus, now trebizond, 
on the Black Sea, is identical in meaning with that of table mountain at 
the Cape. The organ Mountains in Brazil derive their name from the 
£&ntastic forms of the spires of rock, resembling the pipes of an organ. « 
PHIALA, in Palestine, is the "bowl."* rhegium is the "rent" between 
Sicily and Italy, tempe is the " cut " (r^/iy«) m the rocks through which 
the Peneus flows,' and Detroit the "narrows," between Lake Erie and 
Lake St Clair. 


The adjectival element in names is frequently derived from colour.^ 
Names of this class are often admirably descriptive. How well, for 
instance, the Northmen described a conspicuous chalk clilT, past which they 
steered to Normandy, by the name of Cape grisnez, or the grey nose. 
Cape BLANCNEZ, close by, is the white nose. Cape verde is fringed with 
green palms. 

The local name for the Indus is the Nilab, the blue river ; and the nam« 
of the Blue Nile is, perhaps, an unconscious reduplication.* The xanthus 
is the yellow river. The Rio Colorado takes its name from its deep red 
colour; ratby, rugby, and Rutland, from their red soil, ratcliffe, 
Bristol, is the red cliff. The Red Sea,^ the Black Sea, the Yellow Sea, and 
the White Sea, are translated names^ 

* Trollope, Lenten Journey in Unibriay pp. 281, 290. 

* Muller, Dorians^ vol. i. p. 27. 

* See Curzon's Monasteries of Levant ; MtQier, Dorians^ voL i. p# 26* 

* HinchcUff, South American Sketches^ p. 275. 
9 Robinson, iMer Researches^ p. 40a 

« Miiller, Dorians^ voL i. p. 21. 

7 Buttmann, Deutschen Ortsnamen, pp. 6, 7. 

* Pott ( Indo-Gcrm, Spr. p. 29) thinks the name of the Nile is only an 
accidental coincidence with the Sanskrit nila, blue, whence, through the 
old French neel, we obtain the verb, to anneal. Cf. nedah^ the Indian 
name of indigo. See Wilkinson, Ancient Egypt, voL ii. p. 57. 

* Probably a translation of Sea of Edom. Renan, Lang, Semit, p. 39 ; 
Knobel, Volkerta/ei, p. 135. 


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472 Onomatology, 

The dty of Hatria or adria, fiom which the Adriatic took its name, is 
the black town, so called, perhaps, because built on a deposit of black 
mud.^ The kedron is the black valley.* From the Celtic <fi«, black, we 
have the names of Dublin, the black pool or linn, and the zx)UGLAs, or 
black water, in Lancashire, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.' The Rio 
NEGRO and the River mblas are also the black rivers. The River lycus 
is, as we have seen, the white river, and not the wolf river. ^ The hvita, 
a conunon Norse river-name, is the white water. Names like Blackheath, 
Blackmore, Blakeley, or Blackdown, are very ambiguous, as they may be 
either from the English black, or from the Norse blakka^ which means 
white.' From the Sclavonic bel^ white, we have Belgrade and bolgrad, 
the "white castles,"* and scores of names in eastern Germany, sachas 
Biela, Bielawa, Bedow, Bilau, and Billow.' From the Wendish tamy, 
black, we have Samow, Same, and many other names: from sdaty, 
green, come Zielonka, 2^1enetz, &c. ; and so on through the whole range kA 
the spectrum.* 

The names of mountains are naturally derived in many cases from their 
prevailing hue. Thus we have the nilgherries, or the *'blue hills'* of 
India, the BLUE ridge of Virginia, and the blue mountains of New 
South Wales and Jamaica. From the Gadhelic gorm^ blue, we hare 
BENGORM in Mayo, and the cairngorm group in the Highlands.* Roger 
Williams tells us that the name Massachusetts is an Indian word, mean- 
ing the blue hills. ^^ The hills of Vermont are clothed to the summit* 
with green forests, while the sierra morena of Spain is the " sombre 
range,** " and the SIERRA vermeja is the *' red range. " « From the Welsh 
coch^ red, we have CRIB GOCH, the name of the striking peak which over- 

1 Mommsen, Inhabitants of Italy ^ p. 46. 

• Stanley, Sinai and Pal, p. 172. 

• See Diefenbach, Celtica^ i. p. 139. 

• See p. 396, supra, 

• Cf. the English verb, to bleach or make white, the German bleick^ pale, 
and the French blanc. Some of these names may be from the Celtic 
blaighcy a hill. See Hartshome, Salopia Awtiqua^ p. 243. 

• Cf. the Turkish Ak-kerman, white castle. 

' Buttmann, Deutschen Ortsnamen^ p. 79; 2^euss, Die Deutsckcn^ 
p. 613. 
^ Buttmann, Ortsnamen^ pp. 80, 81. 

• Gibson, Etym, Geogr, p. 133. 

w Drake, Book of the Indians y book ii. p. 18. 

** Root, moms. 

" Prescott, Ferdinand and Is. vol. ii. p. 387. 


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Names from Colours, 473 

hangs the pass of Llanberis,^ while monte rossi, one of the peaks of Etna, 
and MONTE ROSSO, an outlier of the Bernina, are so called from their 
characteristic nisset or rosy hue.* 

A very large number of the loftiest mountains in the world derive their 
names from their white ' coverings of snow. From the Sanskrit kitnaj^ 
snow, and dlajoy^ an abode, we have the name of the majestic himalaja, 
the perpetual "abode of snow."' himaprastha is the snowy head, 
HIM A WAT is the snow-covered, and the names of the haemus and the 
IMAUS are from the same root, dwajalagiri is the "white mountain," 
and cviTAGUARA, the second highest peak of Dwajalagiri, is the white 
castle.^ The akhtag in Bokhara are the white mountains, and from the 
Hebrew laban^ white, we deduce the name of Lebanon.^ The hoary 
head of djebel esh sheikh,^ the chief summit of the Lebanon, is covered 

^ Cf. the Latin coccinus. The coek is the "red" bird. Diefenbach, 
Ceitua, vol. L p. 61. 
' See p. 225, supra. 

* Cf. the Latin hums, winter, and the Greek x^^^ snow. 

* Cognate Vith the verbs to He, and lay, and the commcxn English suffix, 
ley. See p. 360^ supra, 

* Lassen, Ind. Altertk. vol. L p. 17; Curtius, Grundziige, vol. i. 
p. 169 ; Chamock, Local Etytnol, p. 131 ; Welsford, English Language, 
p. 22 ; Cooley, Hist. Discov. voL i. p. 42 ; Pott, Etymohgischen Forsch- 
ungeu, p. Ixxiv. ; Pictet, Orig, Indo-Europ. part i. p. 90. 

* Lassen, Jnd. Alterth, voL i p. 55. 

^ See Robinson, Bibl Researches, vol. iii. p. 439; Stanley, Sinai and 
Pal, p. 403 ; Chamock, Local Etym. p. 154. 

" This Arabic word seems to have been adopted from the Persian shah, 
a king. The name of Xerxes (Khshayoarsha) is the ** venerable king ; " 
that of Artaxerxes is the "great venerable king." The English ramifi- 
cations of this root are curious to trace. We received the game of chess 
from the Persians through the Arabs. The name of the game is a corrup- 
tion of shah or sheikh. ' We cry check (king), to give notice that the king 
is attacked ; check mate means "the king is dead." The verb ma/Sa=he 
is dead, we have in the name of the Spanish matador, who kills the bull. 
The word checkered describes the appearance of the board on which the 
game is played. In the Court of Exchequer the public accounts were kept 
by means of tallies placed on the squares of a chequered cloth. Hence 
the phrase to check an account, and the other uses of the verb to check. 
See Forbes, History of Chess, pp. 207, 208 ; Schafarik, Slaw. Alterth. 
vol. L p. 283; Yonge, Christian Names, yoX. i. p. 133; Manage, Origines, 
pp. 279 — 286, 702. 


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474 Onomatology. 

with snow even during a Syrian summer. Graucasus, * the old Scythian 
word from which we derive the name of the Caucasus, means nivf 
candidus^ as we are told by Pliny. The Mustagh are the ice mountains.' 
The name of the Apennines has been explained by a reference to the 
Welsh y-pen-gkwin^ the white head.* The bielouka, the giant of the 
Altai, is the white mountain ; and a range in China is called sru^-LiNG, or 
the snow mountain. More obvious are the et3rmologies of Mont Blanc, 
the Sierra Nevada in Spain, the Ncvado in Mexico, Ben Nevis in Scotland, 
Snowdon in Wales, Sneehattan in Norway, and Sneeuwbeigen in the 
Cape Colony, two Snafells in Iceland, Sneefell in the Isle of Man ; Schnee- 
koppe, the highest peak of the Riesen Gebirge ; Sneeberg, Sneekopf, and 
the Eisthaler Spitze, in the Carpathians ; and the Weisshom, Weissmies, 
Dent Blanche, and many other peaks in Switzerland.^ The names of the 
Swiss mountains are often admirably picturesque and descriptive.* How 
well do the words Dent, Horn, and Aiguille describe the rocky teeth, 
spires, and pinnacles of rock which shoot up into the clouds. How 
appropriate, too, are the names of the schreckhorn, or *'Peak of 
Terror;" the wetterhorn, or "Peak of Storms," which gather round 
his head and reverberate from his fearful precipices ; the higher, who 
uprears his "giant" head; the mOnch, with his smooth -shaven crown; 
the JUNGFRAU, or " Maiden," dad in a low descending vesture of spotless 
white ; the glittering silberhorn ; the soft disintegrating rock of the ill- 
conditioned FAULHORN ; the dent du MIDI, or '* the Peak of Noon," 
over whose riven summits the midday sun streams down the long Rhone 
valley to the lake, pilatus, the outlier of the Bernese chain, takes his 
name from the " cap ** of cloud which he wears during western winds. 
On the other hand, the matterhorn, the most marvellous obelisk of rock 
which the world contains, takes its name, not from its doud-pierdng peak, 
but from the scanty patches of green n^eadow which hang around its 
base; and which also give their name to zermatt — the village "on the 

1 Evidently frort the Sanskrit grdva-kasas. The former part of the 
name seems to be related to the Greek jrpt^o; , and the latter to the Latin 
cashts. See Grimm, Gesch, d, DeuL Spn p. 234 ; Pictet, Orig, Jndo-Ewrop. 
part i. p. 73 ; Donaldson, Varrontanus, p. 53. 

3 Lassen, Ind, AUertk, vol. i. p. 16. 

" Keferstein, KdU AlUrth, vol il p. 186 ; Morris, in GenUemofCs Mag. 
for 1789, p. 905. Cf. Church of England Qitarteriy, No. 73, p. 148. 

* See p. 5, supra. 

* See Stanley, Sinai and Pal. p. 18. 
^ CX Andermat 


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Names of Mountains, 47 5 

The root alp^ or alb^ is widely difTused throughout the Aryan languages. 
The Gaelic and Welsh word, alp^ means a height, a hill, or a craggy rock.^ 
Alp, Owen says, is common in Glamorganshire as a name of hills. It is, 
no doubt, connected with the root of albus^'^ though in Switzerland the 
ALPS are now the green pasturages between the forests and the snow line.' 
ALBANIA, as seen from Corfu, appears as a long snowy range. We may 
refer the name albion to the same root ; it may have been bestowed on 
the land lying behind the white cliffs visible from the coast of Gaul. 
ALBANY (Duke of Albany), the old name of Scotland, means probably the 
hilly land.* 

The name of the Pyrenees is probably from the Basque word pyrge, 
high ; ' that of the itral is from a Tatarian word meaning a belt or 
girdle.* The name of the Carpathians comes, we have seen, from the 
Sclavonic gora, a mountain, or ckrbat^ a mountain range. ^ HOR means 
the mountain ; * pisgah is the height ;' siON is the upraised ; hermon, 
the lofty peak ; " gibeah, the hill ; " and samos, the lofty." 

^ AU high, is common in Shropshire names, E,g. Ercal, Shiffnal, Peck- 
nail, &c. ; Hartshome, Sal, Ant, p. 240. 

* On this root in river-names, see p. 225, supra^ The elves are the 
white beings. 

' The Alps, as well as the Albis in Zurich, seem to have received their 
names before the meaning of the root was thus restricted. See Meyer, 
* Ortsnameny p. 81. 

* On the root alp^ see Pott, Etym, F<frsch» vol. ii. p. 525 ; Latham, Ger- 
mania, p. 18 ; Diefenbach, Celtica, I p. 19 ; Orig, Europ, p. 224 ; Owen, 
Welsh Dictionary, s. v. alp ; Davies, Celtic Researches, p. 207 ; De Bel- 
loguet, Ethnog. voL i. p. 96 ; Duncker, Orig. Germ. p. 44 ; Adelung, 
Mithridates, voL ii. p. 43 ; Amdt, Europ. Spr. pp. 241, 242 ; Radlof, 
Neue Untersuch, p. 287 ; Sparschuh, Berichtigungen, p. 28. 

' Amdt, Europ. Spr. p. 233. Cf. the Zend /i^r, a mountain. 

* Miiller, Ugrische Volkstamm, voL i. p. 18. 

7 See p. 90, supra ; Knobel, Vdlkertafd, p. 44. 

® Compare the Sclavonic ^itt^, and the Greek HfMf. Stanley, Sinai and 
Pal, p. 494. 
» Ibid. p. 496. 
" Ibid. p. 403. 
" Ibid. pp. 41, 497. 
u Curtius, Die lonier, p. 28 ; and p. 98, supra. 


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He; [ 

a bead, hence a mountain. E.g. Pennigant, Ben 
Nevis, Kenmore, Kent, Cantal. pp. 219, 22a 

PEN; Welsh; 
CENN ; Gadhelic 
BEN ; Gadhelic 

BEYN ; Wdsh ; a brow, hence a ridge. E.g. Brandon. p. 224. 

DRUM ; From the Erse druinty a back or ridge. E.g, Dromofe, Dnndmrn. 
CEFN ; Cymric ; a back, hence a ridge. E.g. Les Cevennes. p. 219. 

ARD ; Celtic ; a height. Eg. Aidrossan. p. 226. 

TOE ; Celtic; a tower-like rock. E.g. Mam Tor. pp. 84, 225, 325. 

allied to the words beak, spike, spit, &c 
Spithead is at the end of a long spit 
of sand. E.g^ Peak of Derbyshiie, 
Pike o'Stickle, Pic du Midi, Beca di 
Nona, Piz Mortiratsch, Oertler Spitx, 
Spitzbeigen, Puy de CantaL 

peak; England; 

pike; England; 

pic; Pyrenees; 

BEC; Piedmont; 

PIZ ; Eastern Switzerland; 

SPITZ ; Germany ; 

PUY ; Auveme ; 

GEBEL ; Arabic ; a mountain. E.g. Gibraltar, Gebel Mousa. p. ico. 

Anglo-Saxon beorh^ a hilL Liable to be confused with 
names from burh^ an earthwork. Common in Ger^ 
many, rare in England. E.g. Spitzbeigen, Eidxr^ 
Ingleborough in Yorkshire, Brownberg Hill in West- 
moreland, Queensberry in Dumfriesshire, p. 123. Leo^ 
Rectiiudinesy p. 65 ; Codex Dipt. vol. iii. p. xviiL 

GORA ; Sclavonic ; a mountain. E.g. Gorlitz, Carpathians. p. S4. 



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Mountains, 477 

CA&UCK; Irelaiid; \ 

CRAIG ; Wales ; f Gadhelic, carraig; Cymric, craig^^ a rock or crag. 

CRICK ; England ; ( E,g. Craigrui^^ Carrickfeigus, Cricklade. p. 225. 

CRAU; Savoy; ) 

CHLUM ; Sclavonic; an isolated hill. There are forty'4even places in 

Bohemia alone which go by this name, or by its diminutiTe Chlnmetz. 

Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 76. 
DAGH or TAGH ; Turkish ; a mountain. E^, Altai, Agridagfa, Bdurtagh 

(the doud mountains), Mustagh (the ice mountains). Lassen, 

Indische Alierth, voL i. p. 1 6. 
TSLL; Arabic; a heap, a small hilL Stanley, Sinai and Pal. p. 1x9. 

/ Anglo-Saxon hlaw^ a mound, a rising ground. 
low; England; ) ^^ Houndslow, Ludlow. Mailow, Broad- 

LAW ; Scotch border ; ( ^^ p^^^. 

! Norse kaugr, a mound. Old High German 
komc, of which the German hiigel is a 
diminutive. E^. Fox How, SUver How. 
Fexguson, NorOtmm^ pp. 54—56 ; Forste- 
mann, Ortsnavun, p. 42. p. 174. 

HILL ; Anglo-Sax. hyl, Norse hoa. Leo, Aftgio-Saxm Names, p. 73- 
KNOTT ; a small round hilL E,g. Ling Knott, Amside Knott 
SLIABH or gUKTO ; Erte ; J ^ mountain. E,g, Slievh Beg. p. 248. 

SLISU ; Manx ; ' 

KOM ; Arabic ; a high mound. 

I FELL ; l^orse/jeld; a hill-side. E.g, Goatfell in Airan. p. i6a 

I FELS; German; a rock. £.sr. Drachenfels. 

HAGA&; Arabic ; a stone. P- 94- 

KAMEN ; Sclavonic ; a stone. 

BTEnT-' GCTm^y • l Anglo-Saxon stan, a stone. Old German sfain, 

stken'; Netherlands; ( ^'^' ^odstone, Ehrenbreitstein, Brunsteen. 

BUN ; Celto-Saxon ; a hill fort E.g. London, Dunstable, pp. 221—235. 

KBflUif ON ; Hebrew ; lofty. 

sioN ; Hebrew ; upraised. 

RUDGE J ^ ^^^^ ^^ ^^^ Anglo-Saxon hrycg; German rUckm, a back ; 

^^°^ { and English rick-ysid. E.g. Reigate, Rugdey, Rudge. 

rigge; J 

SIERRA ; Arabic. Not, as is usually supposed, from the Latin serra, a saw, 

but from the Arabic sehrak^ an uncultivated tniot. E.g. Sierra 

Nevada, Gayangos, Dynasties, voL i. p. 546. 
CORDILLERA ; Spanish ; a chain. 


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478 Onomatology. 

HORN ; German ; a peak. E,g, Matterhom, Schreckhorn, Finsteiaariioni, 

DODD ; Lake district ; a mountain with a round summit E.g. Dodd FeQ, 

Great Dodd. 
MONADH ; Gaelic ; 7 a bald head. E^, Monadh liadh, Inverness. 
MYNYDD ; Welsh ; ^ Mynydd-Mawr, Carnarvonshire. 
e MULL ; Scotland ; Gaelic maol ; a headland. E.g. Mull of Cantyre. 
C MOEL ; Wales ; a round hilL E.g. Mod Siabod. 

ROG ; Sclavonic ; a horn. Buttmann, OrifMomett, p. 6i. 

DENT ; French, a tooth. E.g. Dent du Midi 
BLUFF ; American. A bluff, as distinguished from a hill, is the escarpment 

formed by a river running through a table-land. 
MONT ; France ; ^ a mountain. Latin moHs. E.g. Mont Blanc, Moot- 
MONTE ; Italy ; ) martre, Monte Rosa. 
KNOCK ; Gadhelic ; a hill. E.g. Knocknows, Knockduff. 
BALM ; Celtic ; an overhanging wall of rock ; a cave : not uncommon in 

Switzerland and France. E.g. Col de Balm. Meyer, Ortsnamm, 

p. 8i ; Adelung, Miihridates, vol. ii. p. 45 ; Diefenbach, CeUica^ I 

p. 192. 
SCAR ; Norse ; a cliff E.g. Scarborough. p. 163. 

GOURNA ; Arabic ; a mountain promontory. 

NESS ; Norse ; a nose or headland. E.g. Wrabness, Sheemess. p. 163. 
HOO ; England ; Anglo-Saxon ho. A hoo or heal is a spit of land nmniog 

into the sea. Codex Diphnu voL iii. p. xxxL 

RAS; Arabic; a. cape. p. lOl. 

ROSS ; Celtic ; a promontory. E.g. Rossbetg; Kinross, Roseneath, Md- 

rose, Ross. p. 224. 


GWENT ; Celtic; a plain. E.g. Winchester. pu 231. 

CLON ; Ireland ; from the Erae eluain^ a plain surrounded by bog or water. 

E.g. Clonmd, Cloyne. It occurs four times in Shropshire. £^^ 

Clunn, Clunbury. 
PLUN ; Sclavonic ; *> a plain. E.g. Ploner See, in Holstdn. 
PLON ; Sclavonic ; 5 Buttmann, OrtsHomen, p. 79^ 

LAN; Cdtic; •> , . 

i^NDjEngUsh; i-'P*'^ ^ «» 

DOL ; Cdtic ; a plain. E.g. Toulouse, Dolberry. p. 223. 

BLAIR ; Gadhelic ; a plain clear of wood. E.g. Blair AthoU. 
SHARON ; Hebrew ; a plain. 


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Plains— Forests, 479 

TiR ; Welsh ; land. E.g» Cantire. p. 205, 

BELED ; Arabic ; a district 

GAU ; Teutonic ; a district. Cf. the Greek y%»iou E,g. Spengay in Cam- 
bridgeshire, Wormegay in Norfolk. Pictet, Orig, Indo-Europ, 
part ii. pp. 15, 505. pp. 119 — 264. 

MAN ; Celtic ; a district E.g. Maine, Manchester. p. 230. 

MAT; Swiss; \ 

MAES ; Welsh ; I a field. E.g. Andermat, Masham, Armagh, Maynooth, 

MAGH ; Erse ; j Marmagen. pp. 232 — 234. 

MAG; Gaulish; J 

ING ; Anglo-Saxon; a meadow, -ff.^. Deeping. p. 134. 

SAVANNAH ; Spanish ; a meadow. 

AGH ; Ireland ; 7 From Erse achadh^ a field. E.g. Ardagh, Auchin- 

AUCH ; Scotland ; 5 leek. See Sullivan, Diet, of Derivations^ p. 282. 

AC ; sometimes a corruption of agh ; sometimes of the Celtic ach or axe, 
water; sometimes of the Teutonic aha or ahi\ more often the Celtic 
derivative particle. Nine out of ten of the village-names of Western 
and Central France exhibit this derivative suffix. See Zeuss, Gramm, 
Celt. vol. ii. p. 771 ; Forstemann, Ortsnamen^ p. 29. 


HOLZ ; German ; \ a copse. E.g. Bagshot, Sparsholt, pp. 359, 360. 

HOLT ; Anglo-Saxon ; \ Codex. Dipt. vol. iii. p. xxxii. 
HURST ; England ; ) thick wood. Anglo-Saxon hyrst. E.g. Lyndhurst, 
HORST ; Gennany ; i Penshurst Ingram, 6Viji:. Cir^ p. 427. p. 360. 

hart; Germany; ^^ ^^ Hunhart, Seal Chart. p. 360. 

CHART ; England ; J * ' ^ ^ 

BOR ; Sclavonic ; a forest E.g. Bohrau. Buttmann, Ortsnanietiy p. 83. 

DROWO ; Sclavonic ; a wood E.g. Drewitz. 

GOLA ; Sclavonic ; a wood. E.g. Gollwitz. 

weald; England; \ ^o^jj^j; related to >5£^//. Anglo-Saxon owdTw, 

wold; England; I ^^^ ^^^^ ^ qj^ ^^^ German, wUu. E.g 

WALD ; Germany; \ ^^^^4^^ Walden, The Cotswolds, Wootton, 

WOOD ; England ; I s^.h^^ald, Emswoude. pp. 138, 360. 

WOUDE; Netherlands; ; 

COED ; Welsh ; a wood. -ff.^.Bettwsy Coed, Cotswold Hills, Catlow. p. 362. 

!an open place in a wood. Anglo-Saxon leak. E.g. 
Leighton, Hadleigh ; Waterioo, Venloo. pp. 310. 
360; Leo, Rectitttdinesy p. 86; Morris, Local Names, 
p. 46. 


by Google 

480 Onomatology. 

DKN ; Celto-Saxon ; a deep wooded valley. Dm and dun are from the 
safne root, but the meanings are converse, like those of dikeznA diitk. 

MONEY; Ireland; from Erse muine^ a brake or shaw. E^, Moneyrea, 

ACRE ; a field. Latin ager. Low Latin cui^a. E.g. Longacre. 

SHAW; England; a shady place, a wood Anglo-Saxon sceaga; None 
skogr. E.g, Bagshaw. Liable to be confused with haw. 

pp. 188. 359. 

IIAW ; German gehaw^ a place where the trees have been katm. Neariy 
the same aa field. See Vilmar, Orisnamen^ p. 265 ; Forstemann, 
Ortsnamen^ p. 79. Cf. Leo, Anglo-Saxon Names^ p. 115. 

FIELD ; Anglo-Saxon /•/</, a forest clearing, where the trees have been 
felled. E.g. Sheffield, Enfield. pp. i6o, 361. 

ROYD ; Teutonic Probably land that has been ridded of trees. Low 
Latin terra rodata. E.g. Huntroyd, Holroyd, Ormeroyd. Names 
in rod^ rode^ or roth are very common in Hesse ; liable to be con- 
fused with rithe^ running water, and rhyd^ a ford, q. v. See Forste^ 
mann, Ortstia$nen^ p. 79 ; Vilmar, Ortsnanun^ pp. 278, 279 ; 
Chamock, Local Eiymol. p. 229. 

LUND ; Norse ; a sacred grove. E.g. Lundgarth. p. 331. 

NEMET ; Celtic ; a sacred grove. E.g. Nbmes, Nymet Rowland, p. 331. 


NANT ; Cymric ; a valley. E.g. Nant-frangon. p. 23a 

' ^ V f *i narrow valley. E.g. Glynneath, Gleficoe. 
GLEN; Gaelic; > j ^ j * 

STILATH ; Gaelic ; a btxMid valley. E.g. Stratliclyde, Stratheme. 

THAL ; German ; ^ a valley. E.g. Lonsdale, Arundel, Frankenthal 

DALE ; Northumbrian ; f Names in tlol are very common in Bohemia and 

DELL ; Southumbrian ; i Moravia, p. l6a Buttmann, Ortsnamun^ 

DDL ; Sclavonic ; ) p. 79. 

VYED ; Malta ; *) Arabic wadi^ a tavine, valley, or river. Eg. Gttadal- 

GUAD ; Spain ; > quiver. pp. 102, 106. 

COMBE ; Cclto-Saxon ; ") a bowl-shaped valley. E.g. Wycombe, Cwm 

CWM ; Welsh ; ^ Bechan. p. 226. 

KOTL ; Sclavonic ; a kettle or combe. Buttmann, Ortsnamen^ p. 79. 

COP ; Celtic ; a hollow or cup. E.g. Warcop. 

DEN ; from Celto-Saxon denu^ a deep-wooded valley. Ei.g. Tenterdcn. 

pp. 361, 226. 

GILL ; Lake District ; a ravine. E.g. AygilL 


by Google 

Valleys — Rivers, 481 


A; Anglo-Saxon ea; None a ; Old High German aha; Gothic ahva\ 
water. Cognate with Latin <ifwa. i?.^. Greta, Werra. p. 174. 

AVON; Celtic; a river. p. 196, 

dwr; Cymric; water. p. 199. 

ESK ; Celtic; water. p. 202. 

burn; Anglo-Saxon; \ ^ ^^^^^^^^^ ^ Blackburn, Tyburn, Hach- 
BRUNNEN; German; > \^xti, 
BORN ; m Hesse ; ) 

BROOK ; from Anglo-Saxon hrdcy a rushing stream. 

/ a small stream. E»g, Welbeck, Holbeck, 
BECK ; Northumbria ; 1 Caudebec. There are fifty names in batch 
BACH; Germany; j in Shropshire, as Comberbatch, Coldbatch, 

BATCH ; Mercia ; \ and Snailbatch (/.<. Schnell-bach). 

BEC; Normandy; I pp. 159, 187; '^zs\:itiorti'^ Salopia Antiqua^ 

\ p. 240 ; Notes and Queries^ vol. i p. 367. 
reka; Sclavonic; river. E^, River R^en. 
WODA; Sclavonic; water. E,g, River Odes. Buttmann, Ortsnamm^ 

p. 114. 
RUN ; Anglo-American ; a brook. E,g, Bull's Run. 
creek ; Anglo-American ; a small river. E.g. Salt Creek, p. 30, supra, 
fork ; Anglo-American ; a large affluent E,g, North Fork. 
para; Brazilian; a river. E,g. Parahiba, Paraguay, Parana, Parany- 

RITHE ; Anglo-Saxon ; running water. E,g, Meldrith, Shepreth, &c. in 

Cambridgeshire. See royd, p. 480, supra, 

roi^CB ; Northumbria ; | ^^^^^^ ^ Airy Force, Skogar Foss. p. i6a 
Foss ; Iceland ; \ 

!Anglo-Saxony2f(f/, a fk>wing stream. E.g, North- 
fleet, Byfleet, Harfleur. See pp. 187, 274. 
Leo, RectUudines, p. 8i ; Ingram, Sax, Chron, 
p. 426 ; Forstemann, Ortsnamm, p. 36. 
GANGA ; India ; a river. In Ceylon most of the river-names terminate in 

ganga. The Ganges is the river. 
BIRKET; Arabic; a lake. 

UNN ; Celtic ; a deep pool. E.g. Lincoln, Linlithgow, Dublin, 

Lynn, p. 215. 

vat; Hebrides; a small lake. Norse vrt//*, water. E.g. OUevat. p. 172. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

BEER • Hebrew • ( * "^^^^ ^^' ^^'s^®'^ Beyrout. Dr. Stanley says 

482 Onomatology. 

Tarn ; Lake District ; a small mountain lake, lying like a tear on the face 

of the hilL Norse tiom^ a tear. E,g, Blentam. 
KELL; England; \ j^^ ^j^^^ ^^^^ ^^^ ^^^j^ ^^ ^^ ^^j_ 

well; England; \ ia„d, which is a tidal stream. 
QUELLE ; Germany ; / 

AIN ; Arabic ; a fomitain. E.g, Engedi, the fomitain of the kid ; Enrogel, 

the fountain of the foot. pp. 102, 113. 

HAMMAN ; Turkish ; hot springs. 

, .-w»brew; i' .^. ,. , , „. , 

BiR • A abic • < It IS somethmg bored, Stnai and Pal. pp. 147, 512. 
' ' ' ( p. 103. 

BAHR ; Arabic ; a canaL 

BALA ; Welsh ; effluence of a river from a lake. 

aber; Welsh ; ) a confluence of two rivere, or of a river and the 

INVER ; Gadhelic ; ) sea. E.g, Abergavenny, Inverness. p. 2461 

CONDATE ; Old Celtic ; confluence of two rivers. E.g. Conde, GhenL 
Zeiiss, Gram, Celt p. 994 ; Adelung, MithridaUs^ vol ii. p. 54. 

WICK ; Norse ; a bay. E.g. Sandwich. p, 161. 

FORD ; England ; ) "^on^ fiord, an arm of the sea. E.g. Orford, Haver- 

FJORD ; Iceland ; ) ford, Faxa Fjord. p. i6a 

over; Anglo-Saxon, ofer; German, ufn' ; a shore. E.g. Hanover, 
Oveiyssel, Over near Cionbridge, Wendover. Andover is not from 
the root ofer, but wture. See Sax. Chron. ; Cod. Dipl. voL iiL 
p. xxxiv. ; Morris, Local Names, p. 38, Forstemann, Orttnamen, 
p. 39. p. 138, iir/ni. 

POOL ; ) Welsh pwl, an inlet, or pool. E.g. Pill in Somerset, Poole in 

PILL; J Dorset, Bradpole, Pwlhelli, Liverpool 

SHORE; e.g. Shoreham. 

OR; Anglo-Saxon ora, the shore of a river or sea. E.g. Bognor, Cumnor, 
Oare near Hastings, Elsinore. Windsor was anciently Windlesora, 
the winding shore. Ore in Iceland denotes a narrow strip of land 
between two waters. Leo, Rectitudines, p. 79 ; Laing, Ham- 
skringla, vol. i. p. 119; Ingram. Sax. Chron. p. 428; Chamock, 
Local Efymol. p. 298L 

TRA; Erse; a strand. ^.^. Tralee, ^Ballintra. 

MERE; Anglo-Saxon, j a lake, a marsh. E.g. Foulmire, Mersey, Morton, 

MOOR ; Anglo-Saxon ; ( Blackmore. 

JASOR ; Sclavonic ; a marsh. Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 107. 

RUIMNE; Celtic; a marsh. E.g. Romney. pp. 213, 349. 

RHOS ; Celtic ; a moor. E^. Rossall, Rusholme. pt 224. 


by Google 

Waters — Islands — Roads. 483 


YNYS; Welsh; -\ an island. E.g, Inchiquin and Inchkeith in Scot- 

INNIS; Gadhelic; / land; Enniskillen, Ennismore, Ennis, and at least 

ENNis ; Irish ; ^ 100 names in Ireland, as well, perhaps, as Erin 

INCH ; Scotch ; ) and Albion. 

EY ' 

' \ an island. From the Anglo-Saxon ea, Norse oe. Eyot is the 

' \ ' diminutive of ey, and ait the contraction of tyof, £.g, Ey in 

^^' \ Suffolk, Sheppcy, Rona, Faroe, Colonsay. pp. 163, 171, 348. 
AY ; / 

AIRE; "^ 

AYRE; fa small river-island of shingle or sand. £,g, Saltaire, Stonaire. 


HOLM; Norse; an island in a river. £^. Flatholm in the Severn, p. 163. 

JEZIRAH; Arabic; an island. E.g Algiers, Algeziras. p. 104. 


GATE; England; '\ 

GUT ■ Kent * f ^ passage, a road or street E.g, Reigate, Gatton, 

GHAT ; Indk ; T Ramsgate, Calcutta. pp. 252, 334. 

GHAUT; India ) 

ATH ; Erse ; a ford. E.g, Athlone. 

RHYD ; Welsh ; a ford. p. 254. 

WATH ; Northumbria ; a ford. Related to the verb to zaadf, 

ford; England; C ^•^- ^^^^"^ Frankfurt, Lemfdrde. p. 254. 

^,T«»^. /-™-««. J Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 17 ; Bender, Ortsna- 

fuhrt; Germany; < „ ^ r, ^, ^ 

.. TT i nun. p. 1 18; Ingram, Saxon Chron, p. 426; 

FORDE ; Hanover \ I ^ * ^ ^ « r t 9 

\ Forstemann, Ortsnamen^ p. 38. 

PONT ; Welsh and French; a bridge. E.g. Pontaberglaslyn. p. 253, 354. 
MOST ; Sclavonic ; a bridge. E.g. Babimost, Motzen, Maust Buttmann, 

Ortsnamen^ p. 135. 
BRIDGE; England; ( ^'^' ^"^^^^^ ^™«^' Innspriick, Weybridge,- 
BRUCKE ; Germany A ^ee p. 154 ; Bender, Ortsnamm, p. 1 19 ; Ingram, 

( Sax. Chron. p. 425. 
BRIVA ; Old Celtic ; a bridge. p. 255. 

BAB ; Arabic ; a gate ; E.g. Babelmandeb. 

STREET ; Latin and Saxon ; a road. E.g. Stretton, Stratford. p. 250. 
SARN ; Welsh ; a road. E.g. Sam Helen. 


Digitized by VjOOQIC 

484 Onomatology. 


TWISTLB ; Northmnbria ; a boundary. E.g. Entwude, Btrchtwistle, 
Extwistle. Whitakcr, History of WhalUy, p. 377. 

GILL ; Northumbria ; None, gil, a ravine. E.g. Dungeon GOL 

STONE ; Anglo-Saxon and Norse, stan. E.g. Stanton, Godstone. Staines 
is so called from the Stones bounding the river jurisdiction of the 
Lord Mayor. 

KAMEN ; Sclavonic ; a stone. E.g. Chemnitz. Buttmann, Ortsnamm^ 
pp. 61, 103. 

HAGAR ; Arabic ; a stone. 

GISR ; Arabic ; a dyke. 

DYKE ; Anglo-Saxon ; a ditch. E.g. Wansdyke. p. 2$6. 

HATCH ; England ; a kUck-^Xit. Cf. the French, kiche. This is a com- 
mon suffix in the neighbourhood of ancient forests. E.g^ Westhatch 
in Somerset, Pilgrims' Hatch in Essex ; Colney Hatch in Middlesex 
was the gate at the southern extremity of Enfield Chase. See Nota 
and Queries^ vol x. pp. 107, 197, 238, 316. 

CLOUGH ; Erse cloch^ a stone. E.g. Cloghan, Claughton in Yorkshire. 

MARK ; Indo-European ; a boundary. E.g. Denmark, Altmark. pi. 264. 


HEIM ; Germany ; \ 

HAM ; England ; f a home. E.g. Hocheim, Buckingham, Rysnm, 

HEN ; Picardy ; i Hamburg. pp. 125, 124, 152. 

UM; Friesland; ' 

TON; Anglo-Saxon /((fff, an indosure. Hence a village. pp. 119,12a 

iwiCK ; Anglo-Saxon 't/tc an abode. Related to the Latin vicus. p. 161. 
WAS; Sclavonic; a village. E.g, Weska, Wasowetz. Buttmann, 
Ortstutnun^ p. 145. 
WIKI ; Sclavonic ; a market E.g. Fourteen places called Wieck. Bntt- 

mann, Ortsnamm^ p. 139. 
WEILER; Germany; \ 

VILLIERS ; France ; / an abode, a house. E.g. Berveiler, Hardivfl- 
viLLE ; Normandy ; \ liers, HaconviUe, Chiswill, KettlewelL 

^^'^^J (England; \ PP. 159. i8> 

WELL ; ) / 

ballV ; \ Gadhelic haile^ an abode. Equivalent to the Cymric tre and 

BAL ; \ the Norse by. E.g. Ballymena, Balbriggan. pp. 247, 24S. 

balla; ) Sullivan, Dkt. of Der. p. 283. 


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BoundariesT-Dwellings. 485 

fKBKD ; India ; an abode. E^. Allaliabad. 
BY ; England ; \ 

MUF; Normandy; ( ^orse, iyr, m abode. £.jr. Deiby, Elbooi; 
burun; Germany; J Amekburen. pp. IS7. i86. 

«y>..»^T » . 1 f Anglo-Saxon and Norse, dot/, a house, from 

BOLD • ^ ^^^**°^ '* 1 bytliany to build. Rare in Anglo-Saxon names. 
buttel; Germany; { ^■^- NewbotUe. Wolfenbiittel, BothweU. 
blod; Friesland: / ^^- ^'>^- ^°^- iii- P- ^^J Bender, Orts^ 

\ nanun, p. 132. 
BUS ; Sclavonic ; a dwelling. Bus is very common in Sclavonic districts. 

E,g. Trebus, Lebbus, Putbus. Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 130. 
BUDA; Sclavonic; a hut E,g, Buda, Budin, Budan, Budkowitz. 

Buttmann, Ortsnamen, p. 129. 

BOD * ^ 

' j Cymric; a house. E.g. Bodmin, Bodwrog, Boscawen, p. 229. 

STAN; Persian; a place. E.g. Kurdistan, Hindostan, Beloochistan, 

STEAD ; England ; > Anglo-Saxon stede^ a place. E.g. Hampetead, Darm- 
STADt; Germany; i stadt 

STOKE • ( Anglo-Saxon stoc, a stockaded place. E.g. Bristow or Bristol, 
STOW •' i Chepstow, Tavistock, Stockholm, p. 121 ; Ingram, Sax. 
' ( Chron. p. 438. 

iSET ; from Anglo-Saxon seta, a settlement E.g. Dorset p. 69. 

SETER ; Norse ; % a seat or dwelling. E.g. Ellanseter, SeatoUar, 
STER; Norse; ) Ulster. pp. 170, 183. 

SSEDLO ; Sclavonic ; a possession. E.g. Sedlitz. Buttmann, Ortsnametiy 
p. 144. 
PATAM ; India ; a dty. E.g. Patra, Seringapatam. 

HAGEN ; Germany ; \ a place surrounded by a hedge ; a park. E.g. 
**^^' ^Enirland- \ ^^^^^^"^ 1-a Haye Sainte. p. 122